Fellow iSchool student Lauren McNeil writes about tabletop games as a great addition to any library/learning commons (link below).
I attended the June ALA conference in San Francisco last year and got a quick taste for tabletop games when I encountered a group playing Go. I signed up to receive a free set of GO games for the library, but am sad to say that I’ve let them collect dust in one of the library storage cabinets. NO LONGER! I am inspired to get Go-ing on providing games for my patrons.
Lauren’s well-cited post (seriously, check out her reference list) reminds me of the importance of the learning commons as a place to play and connect. To get into the spirit of the thing, I decided to Google popular board games for teens. Tutor Doctor recommends games like Settlers of Catan and Equate in order to “improve memory, build social skills, develop strategic thinking skills, and even just learn more about the world and its history.” I love to play Settlers of Catan with my family, and I bet our high school students would like it too (especially on block days, when they’ll have plenty of time to play).
Lauren additionally reminds me that “In support of culturally responsive teaching, game playing can unite patrons of different backgrounds.” So I looked up games that help in this category as well. Hellogiggles’ Elena Zhang (2016) post, “10 superfun tabletop games that celebrate women and diversity” . Included in the top 10 are many games that, like Settlers of Catan could take long hours of play (Dungeons and Dragons, Pandemic); however, Dixit is there! How did I not think of Dixit? If you haven’t played it before, please go out and try. It’s definitely a game that anyone can play, and really gets people to see varied perspectives. Anyway, I’m getting it!
My school is a pretty diverse population, and one of our missions is to build community. How better to build community in my own corner of the school than to promote games that draw patrons together?
One final word: Lauren’s post also shows you ways to get board games on a shoestring budget. Here’s her link: Info 233 Learning Journal, Week 8: Tabletop Games as School Library Game-Changers