Photo of young people playing chess

A Winning Move

March 1, 2022

In 2001 it was the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film, which culminates with its heroes playing a giant, magical game of high-stakes chess, says HPL Librarian Alison Creech. In 2020, during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders, the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit put the spotlight back on the … Continue reading A Winning Move


Rhone Talsma

Newsmaker: Rhone Talsma

February 1, 2022

On January 26, Talsma earned a spot in Jeopardy! history when he unseated fellow contestant Amy Schneider, who had racked up a 40-game winning streak, the second highest on the iconic game show. Talsma, multimedia librarian at Chicago Ridge (Ill.) Public Library, was the most recent in an impressive line of successful library contestants that … Continue reading Newsmaker: Rhone Talsma


Tristan Wheeler (right), audio-visual and event planning specialist at Cleveland Public Library, plays Windjammers with streamers from sfxxPLAY on Twitch.

The Twitching Hour

September 1, 2021

The livestreaming platform Twitch is primarily used by gamers who broadcast themselves playing videogames. Anyone can watch from anywhere for free. The platform entered the mainstream in 2020, when the number of active streamers on the platform more than doubled over the year, from just under 4 million to more than 9 million. Twitch is most … Continue reading The Twitching Hour


Laura Braunstein, digital humanities librarian at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, completes a crossword on her tablet. (Photo: Eli Burakian/Dartmouth College)

Bookend: Clues You Can Use

March 1, 2021

Braunstein, digital humanities librarian at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and co-lead of Digital by Dartmouth Library, wants to help both crossword puzzles and libraries shed their reputations for stuffy elitism and exclusion. Braunstein started doing crosswords as a child with her grandfather, who emigrated from Moldova; the games were his way of learning … Continue reading Bookend: Clues You Can Use


Jeff Pinsker, Erica Ruscio, and Rebecca Strang

Let’s Play Online

January 25, 2021

Strang was joined by Erica Ruscio, young adult librarian at Ventress Memorial Library in Marshfield, Massachusetts; Dan Major, adult services library at Orion Township (Mich.) Public Library (OTPL); and Jeff Pinsker, CEO of Amigo Games, for “Virtual Gaming Programs: Resources for Fighting Social Isolation with Gaming,” a session sponsored by the Games and Gaming Round … Continue reading Let’s Play Online


Navigating Fictional Worlds

January 23, 2021

Not to be pigeonholed, the author has moved into more family-friendly fare in recent years with books based on the popular Minecraft videogame, including the upcoming Minecraft: The Mountain (Del Rey, 2021), a sequel to the 2019 Minecraft: The Island. The books follow an unnamed hero embarking on multiple adventures in the block-like world of … Continue reading Navigating Fictional Worlds


Illustration: Screenshot of gamers in costume playing Dungeons and Dragons (Illustration: Katie Wheeler)

Escape for the Isolated

November 2, 2020

A crew of six explorers—library patrons playing as a gnome, two half-elves, two humans, and a wood elf—learned this lesson during their weekly online game, led by Greenfield (Mass.) Public Library (GPL) Assistant Jeremiah Rood. Spoiler alert: The adventurers went on to slaughter the monster, as well as the campaign’s goblin king, before reaching the … Continue reading Escape for the Isolated


Teens at San Francisco Public Library created Life in SF: Luck, Loss, Gain, a board game that explores inequity in their city. Photo: Dorcas Wong/San Francisco Public Library

The Missing Piece

November 2, 2020

In turn, each player’s social class determined their stakes in Life in SF: Luck, Loss, Gain, a Monopoly-esque game that simulates poverty and inequity in San Francisco, complete with properties and transit lines familiar to the group. Around the time the teens were developing the board game last year, San Francisco reported a nearly 7% … Continue reading The Missing Piece


Twitch and Discord in libraries panelists Michael Dunbar-Rodney and Lorin Flores

How Libraries Can Use Discord and Twitch

June 26, 2020

Lorin Flores and Michael Dunbar-Rodney, librarians at San Antonio (Tex.) Public Library, discussed how libraries can take advantage of these emerging online streaming platforms to reach new audiences and expand digital services during the COVID-19 pandemic in their ALA Virtual 2020 session, “Twitch and Discord in Public Libraries: New Opportunities for Adult Services.” Twitch, a … Continue reading How Libraries Can Use Discord and Twitch



The University of Michigan’s Computer and Video Game Archive. Photo: Alan Pinon

Librarians, Start New Game

November 1, 2019

The University of Michigan’s (UM) Computer Video and Game Archive (CVGA) in Ann Arbor boasts more than 8,000 videogames and 60 consoles dating back to the 1970s. “Because we have such a large collection, there are many examples from which to pull and get inspiration, things [students] would never be able to afford on their … Continue reading Librarians, Start New Game