Guitar HeroI enjoyed this article about video games in Michigan libraries from the Detroit Free Press, but not for the reason you might think.

The article’s biggest focus falls on the suburban Rochester Hills Public Library where, the article tells us how library director Christine Lind Hage has:

… stocked the shelves with 1,823 games for PlayStations 2 and 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360 and other systems. And the free sources of entertainment are hot items among adolescents — on any given day, 1,300 are checked out. The addition of the games largely contributed to the library’s 12% spike in circulation last year, she said.

This article stresses how video games draw teens into the library that makes them available.

“Dance Dance Revolution” fan Victoria Alcorn, 14, said she enjoys the best of both worlds at the township library.

“It gives us a place to hang out with friends but, if we need to, we can do our homework there,” she said.

As a librarian who is at least slightly old-fashioned, I’m a little troubled by libraries offering items that are not “reading” to its customers. But then I remind myself, “Everything that libraries offer doesn’t have to involve reading.” But then I wonder whether we in public libraries are selling out to teens and giving them only the lowest common denominator of materials that don’t require much in the way of intellectual challenge or effort.

But then I’m sure I’m wrong, and agree that circulating video games is a good thing.

This is the point at which I’m sure that I’ve been working in libraries way too long.

Postscript: A group of PC game manufacturers are starting a PC Gaming Alliance. Here’s the Ars Technica article about it.

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