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Have you ever worked out at the library? Some libraries have found unique ways to increase a different kind of circulation… exergames.
The term “exergames” simply means video games that require movement and physical exercise. Most of them are found on the Xbox 360 Kinect and the Wii, and have recently sparked a wide range of age groups.
Many libraries have acted on this video game/exercising trend by hosting weekly or monthly game nights. Steger-South Chicago Heights Library holds a monthly “Gaming Evening” promoting Xbox 360, Wii, and Kinect Games. Moose Jaw Public Library also hosts a free “Get Your Game On” with the Xbox Kinect for youth, while the New York Public Library holds a Wii Fit program for seniors. Libraries worldwide have increased their video game collections, and added consoles, for patrons to play within the library.
A recent story by NPR shows that more video games mean better library circulation. The Houston Public library houses four Nintendo Wiis, four Xboxes, several Nintendo DSs, some iPads, seven PlayStations, and a few big-screen TVs.
Sandy Farmer, the manager of Central Youth Services, comments “It’s a primary part of our service that we offer, and it results in a 15-20% increase in the circulation of books.”
Keri Adams, librarian at the Johnson Public Library in Hackensack, N.J., says she welcomes all kinds of games. “They’re fun, and I think there’s a value to kids coming to the library and having fun and having a place where they can hang out with each other.”
Increasing circulation and fun by patrons — what more could you ask for?
If you’re looking for a way to increase your library’s usage and traffic, you may find that interactive video games can improve “library health” too.
[Photo: Children celebrating International Games Day at the Teen Space in the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Washington, D.C.]