Games of libraries past

Interesting article on the games played in libraries of old:

Playing in the Past: A History of Games, Toys, and Puzzles in North American Libraries
Scott Nicholson
The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy
Vol. 83, No. 4 (October 2013), pp. 341-361

Games and other forms of play are used in today’s libraries to attract underserved patrons, to introduce patrons to other library resources and services, and to facilitate engagement between library patrons. While many perceive gaming as a new library service, gaming services have been part of librarianship since the nineteenth century through chess clubs. During the Great Depression, libraries supported patrons with puzzle contests and developed circulating toy and game collections. Academic libraries built game collections for research and classroom needs, while school libraries collected and facilitated educational games to aid teachers. Video games have been used in libraries to help patrons learn to use technology and to bring groups of patrons together to enjoy shared experiences. The goal of this article is to demonstrate the different ways in which libraries have used games, toys, and puzzles over the last 150 years through both collections and services.

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