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



Jenn Bartlett, head of reference and adult services at Manchester (Conn.) Public Library. Photo: J. Fiereck Photography

Bookend: Gaming the (Library) System

November 1, 2019

Instead, that trip effectively kickstarted the library’s board game collection. Bartlett came home with three free games; today MPL’s cache, mostly comprising publisher and public donations, is at 275 and counting. It’s the largest library board game collection in the state, she says. Bartlett, current president of the American Library Association’s Games and Gaming Round … Continue reading Bookend: Gaming the (Library) System


The MERGE Headset adapts smartphones into VR viewers with access to games, 360-degree video, and educational content.

Alternate Realities, Simplified

November 1, 2019

MERGE While specialized VR equipment can be expensive and difficult to loan, MERGE offers a suite of apps and accessories to make augmented and virtual reality more accessible and portable through common technology including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The MERGE Cube is a small foam cube that, when used with its accompanying apps, allows users … Continue reading Alternate Realities, Simplified


Dewey Decibel Podcast: Beyond Our Borders

August 30, 2019

First, American Libraries Senior Editor George Eberhart speaks with Nigerian-American science-fiction writer Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death and The Book of Phoenix) about how her heritage influences her work. Then, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries Senior Editor Phil Morehart speaks with Jonathon Hodge, digital literacy service lead at Toronto Public Library, and Mark Williams, chief librarian … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Beyond Our Borders



Students play videogames during the grand opening of the Nest, the e-sports facility at University of North Texas in Denton. Photo: Photo: University of North Texas

Wide World of E-Sports

May 1, 2018

The biggest competitions in the world of e-sports—of which the most popular include League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., and Overwatch—fetch top players millions of dollars in prizes, and in 2017 the industry is estimated to have earned $696 million in revenue. Universities across the country have established e-sports teams, and some of the top … Continue reading Wide World of E-Sports


Students assemble the Ultimate Shootout game from the littleBits Code Kit.

Coding for Fun

May 1, 2018

littleBits Code Kit Little Bits has been used in classrooms and makerspaces for years as a platform for building and experimenting with electronics. The Code Kit, released in summer 2017, is its first education-oriented kit to incorporate simple coding into projects. The kit introduces an LED matrix and a “codeBit” to the littleBits collection of … Continue reading Coding for Fun



(L-R): Donald Dennis, Sito Sanchez, Anthony Boyd, Yumi Hoashi, and Michael Parker at "Tabletop Games 101"

The Benefits of Tabletop Games for Libraries

June 26, 2017

Card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh can be played between two people or as tournaments between four people. The objective is to get your opponent’s score to zero. The benefits of card games include sportsmanship, problem solving, and strategy. Meanwhile, role-playing games  allow players to collaboratively use their imagination to tell stories. Libraries can also host a … Continue reading The Benefits of Tabletop Games for Libraries