Over the last few days I’ve had a few people ask me about possibly building a circulating video game collection at my library. And much to my surprise I’ve wound up as someone who is strongly against the concept.
I think games are great for libraries and I would love to start this collection, but I just think this is a really awful time for us to do so. After budget cuts our YA, DVD, and music budgets are nearly non-existant, so why do games rate over those?
I think the answer is because they’ve suddenly become trendy in the profession. Every conference includes a game night, every mailing list has a games thread, and every issue of American Libraries seems to have an article on the subject. So now games are important, although many of the librarians who have been given this belief don’t really know much about them. Over the last few days I’ve had to explain the differences between the multiple consoles, that our standard vendors (with the exception of Amazon) don’t really carry them, and that the average gamer is 35 and not 8.
There’s also the logistical side of things. I spend an enormous amount of time testing out a/v items for damange. To do that for games we would need one of each console unless I start taking work home with me (which is hardly ideal). Somehow I don’t see the money for this coming our way in the near future.
So building a games collection for now is bad, but I’m still looking forward to our Rock Band night tomorrow.