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The Librarian's Guide to Gaming:

An Online Toolkit for Building Gaming ala @your library  logo



Lauri Moreno"The gaming club will be one way to bring in these patrons and to also bring our library into the new millennium."


~Lauri Moreno,
Booth & Dimock Memorial Library
Coventry, CT




“Get Your Game On: Support Learning & Literacy” Grant

Booth & Dimock Memorial Library, Coventry CT

The target population for this project was the more than 1,120 middle school and high school students, grades 6-12, living in Coventry CT. These students make up 9% of the total population. Also targeted were the additional 900 students currently enrolled in the local grade schools that will benefit from this long term project as they come of age. The goal of the grant was to develop a gaming club for the middle school and high school students of Coventry to meet once a week after school with occasional tournaments as well.

Running the Program

The project provided a weekly after school gaming club which served to entertain and educate as well as introduce reluctant readers to the library. In conjunction with the gaming club, the library increased the collection to include written gaming guides and gaming magazines, books pertaining to issues and subjects confronted in the games played in gaming club, and video and computer games for circulation. This project was conducted in partnership with the local middle school and high school as well as the local Youth Services program to promote the understanding of how gaming contributes to literacy and to advertise this program to local youth.           

Membership requirements for the gaming club are:

  1. Hold a valid Coventry Library Card.
  2. Be in good standing with the library.

In addition to the requirements members earn incentive points for prizes. These points will work like credit toward prizes worth various points and toward attending tournaments. To earn points members can do any of the following:

  • Check out at least 4 items a month.
  • Reviewing a book.
  • Attending a Teen Advisory Board meeting.
  • Attending a Book Club meeting.
  • Volunteering for school or for human services.
  • Bringing a guest to a meeting.
  • Points awarded for grades at school.


The library works with the local middle school and high school and youth services to verify grades and volunteer work, and provides flyers and posters to advertise at these facilities. Our hope is to encourage more community involvement and more traditional library patronage by offering these incentives.

The library provided a training session targeted at parents and teachers to discuss the value of gaming for literacy and promote the grant project. Beth Gallaway, Library Trainer/Consultant and gaming expert, provided a half day workshop to six participants at the Coventry High School.

Literacy Connection


After the training session, 100% (8 of 8) attendees to the Get Your Game On workshop at the Coventry Public Library reported an 83.3% increase in knowledge of how computer & video games promote traditional literacies directly after completing the class;100% (8 of 8) of the attendees reported a 79% increase in knowledge of how parents, teachers, and librarians can use gaming to attract and teach youth directly after completing the class; 100% (8 of 8) of the attendees reported a 101% increase in knowledge of how gaming builds developmental assets of children and teens directly after completing the class; 100% (8 of 8) of the attendees reported a 106.7% increase in knowledge about developing a library gaming program directly after completing the class; 100% (8 of 8) of the attendees reported a 100% increase in knowledge about selecting and purchasing materials for a library gaming collection directly after completing the class; and 100% (8 of 8) of the attendees reported a 46.7% increase in knowledge about cataloging and circulating materials for a library gaming collection directly after completing the class.

Funding $15,503

Personnel: $5,580.00

  • $15.50/hr x 320hrs = $4960.00 (in kind)
  • $15.50/hr x  40hrs = $620.00

Supplies $3830.00

  • Game storage
  • gaming accessories
  • memory cards
  • screen covers
  • extra stylus
  • computer accessories
  • 2 computer tables with 4 chairs,
  • Wii gaming system
  • Wii accessories
  • 4 Nintendo DS Lite gaming systems
  • Nintendo DS Lite accessories,
  • 4 gaming chairs
  • Playstation 2 accessories
  • projector with mount cables and accessories,
  • Network connection for laptops        

Equipment $4228.00

  • 4 Dell Vostro 1500 laptop computers 4@$1,057.00 each=$4228.00

Contractual $2,100.00

  • Electrician $85/hr x 10 hrs = $850
  • Computer Technician $50/hr x 10 hrs = $500
  • Gaming workshop 1/2 day =$750

Printing $1,332.00

  • Large vinyl banner
  • 4 posters
  • 4000 flyers
  • design fee     

Library Materials $2,181

  • 36 books x $16 = $576.00
  • 10 PC games x $22 = $220.00
  • 10 PS2 games x $25.50 = $225.00
  • 10 Wii games x $43 = $430.00
  • 25 DS games x $28 = $700.00
  • In Kind: 14 books x $16 = $224.00




For more information, please contact Lauri Moreno at

Grant Application

Alverman, D. E . 2003 National Reading Conference.

Armstrong, Sara and David Warlick, David. ”The New Literacies.” TechLearning. September 15, 2004. January 5, 2009.
Reading, writing & arithmetic are not the only skills today's learners need.

Beck, John C. and Mitchell Wade. The Kids Are Alright: How the Gamer Generation is Changing The Workplace. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2004.
Research on how gamers think & act differently than their boomer-aged business colleagues.

Gee, James Paul. What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Palgrave McMillan, 2003.
Examples of learning principles gleaned from playing videogames.

Hotz, Robert Lee. Wall Street Journal. November 30, 2007.

Levine, Jenny. *"Gaming In Libraries: Intersection of Services." Library Technology Reports, 42:5. Chicago: ALATechsource, 2006.
Advances the concept of games in libraries, GLLS proceedings.

Reading Today. April/May 2007

Squire, Kurt and Constance Steinkuehler. “Meet the Gamers: They Research, Teach, Learn, and Collaborate. So far, without libraries.” Library Journal, April 15, 2005 v130 i7 p38(4). April 14, 2008.
Persuasive article on serving gamers.

ESRB. What They Play. 2008. February 12, 2009.

40 Development Assets for Adolescents. The Search Institute, 1997. February 12, 2009.

40 Development Assets for Early Childhood. The Search Institute, 1997. February 12, 2009.

40 Development Assets for Middle Childhood. The Search Institute, 1997. February 12, 2009.

Gallaway, Beth. "Video Games in Education, A Timely Topic ." VOYA. Decemebr 2007. February 12, 2009.

Gaming Bibliography

Gaming Glossary

Reader's Advisory to Gamers



  That Was Then: A brief history of gaming in libraries.

This Is Now:
A snapshot of gaming in libraries today.


Talking Points: Connecting games & literacy.

Tools to measure your success.

  First Steps:
Easy, low-cost models for beginners

Next Steps:
Models large in scope and scale.

Gaming @ your library is an initiative of the American Library Association.
This initiative is generously funded by the Verizon Foundation