St. Thomas Public Library has officially added video games to the library catalogue for three game systems. If you own a PS3, Xbox 360, or a Wii, stop by the library’s Children’s & Teens’ Department on the lower level to check out the selection!
There are special rules with video game loans (much like the Express Read loans.) You can check one video game out for one week, with no renewals. There is an overdue fine of $1.00 per day.
All games are rated either E for Everyone or E 10+ for Everyone aged 10 and older. While the games are rated E and located in the Children’s and Teens’ Department, that doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy them! Check the library’s online catalogue for game titles. (Click “Power Search” and in the “Location” drop-down menu, select “Video Games.” Click “Search.” You do not need to type in anything else.)
Now, a few people are torn on the idea of video games being offered in a public library. (Please note: I’m biased on the issue. I’m in favour of video games being loaned from public libraries.) The “negative” is video games keep children inside, parked in front of the television screen.. “There is more value in books.”
That can be true and I highly encourage everyone to read! However, there are many benefits to gaming. Mind you, every game is different and therefore offers different skills. It’s a very sneaky kind of learning! For example, many video games have text boxes that pop onto the screen (sometimes without an audio companion), so children are encouraged to read. Not enough? How about this: gaming teaches:
- Critical thinking (including “Thinking outside the box” and finding multiple solutions to a problem.)
- Time management
- Money management
- Organizational skills
- Hand-eye coordination
- Map reading skills (which come in handy when the GPS fails)
- Encouragement for exploration
- Learning from your mistakes
- Music appreciation (have you ever listened to some of the musical scores created for a video game? Where else are kids these days exposed to classical music?)
Can a book do all of that? And this list goes on and on! But these are just the opinions of one person. Tell us what YOU think!
St. Thomas Public Library does plan on purchasing more games to expand the Children’s and Teens’ video game collection, so check back often.