Continuing our discussion on libraries from yesterday, there is some good news: libraries are working hard and doing some creative things to bring in new readers, especially younger readers. I point you toward this article in the Maryland Gazette on the libraries in my area hosting video game competitions — specifically, Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero.
According to the article,
“The video games are part of a larger effort by libraries across the county to get more teenagers involved. Kathie Weinberg, the teen librarian at the Bethesda Library, said the libraries have recently planned a number of events geared toward teens, including coffee houses, forensics sessions, and concerts. The Bethesda library brought in two representatives from MAC Cosmetics who did makeovers for more than 40 teens.”
That sort of thinking, however, led to a snippy editorial cartoon captioned “These Days At The Library,” making fun of the library as catering to game players at the expense of books. That, in turn, prompted this letter to the editor from two library employees, including the Young Adult librarian. I’ll quote them in part:
“These programs in no way diminish the importance of someone ‘just want[ing] a book.’ Yes, we have dramatically increased our teen programming this summer, but we have also increased our teen user base and their leisure and academic reading. In fact, circulation of teen books has increased more than 50 percent in the past year.”
More young people using our libraries? Circulation of teen books up 50 percent? Sounds like a win-win situation to me.
I’m was planning to head to the library this week as it was — but while I’m there, maybe I’ll also see if they’ll let the head librarian and me play “Sweet Child of Mine” together on Guitar Hero 2. I call the bass part!