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



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