Public libraries offering video game borrowing, other services

Public libraries offering video game borrowing, other services

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With the rise of the digital age, video game rentals seem be quickly fading away–at least, from a commercial standpoint. According to NPR, the Sollers Point Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library system is one of a growing number of public libraries in the United States that offers video game lending to their cardholders, as well as having a gaming area with allotted hours.

Every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sollers Point offers a weekly Xbox program for teenagers.  According to a 2012 study in the Library Journal , around 15% of American libraries lend out video games to cardholders, but gaming in  the library–especially among teenagers–seems to be more popular.

“It’s a primary part of our service that we offer, and it results in a 15- to 20-percent increase in the circulation of books,” says Sandy Farmer, the manager of Central Youth Services for the Houston Public Library that also offers video game services and is equipped with an array of both handheld and stationary consoles and a few big-screen TVs.

“The kids and teens spend more time here. Families come–their parents have things to do on the computers, because a lot of the families don’t have computer access at home, so the kids have some things to do while they’re here. They find out, ‘There’s Superman . I can read Superman. ‘ “ 

Keri Adams, a librarian at the Johnson Public Library in Hackensack, New Jersey, is also in support of this new trend. “[Video games] are fun, and I think there’s a value to kids coming to the library and having fun and having a place where they can hang out with each other. There aren’t a lot of safe places teenagers can go, so it’s important to give them that, even if it isn’t the most educational experience.”

Farmer agrees. “I have a room full of teenage boys that are happy, and the library is the coolest place they know.”

Source: NPR

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Anthony Magestro

Anthony "Tony" Magestro--or known on the field of battle as Metzge--is an avid writer, gamer, and entrepreneur. When he's not writing, gaming, or entrepreneuring, he enjoys cooking, trippy movies, and trying to be awesome to varying degrees of success. Feel free to check out his LinkedIn page, especially if you need freelance help with content writing or digital marketing. Or just like to network, that's fine too.