Fun and games at the Kenai library

Posted: Friday, November 14, 2008

The Kenai Community Library has got game! And they'll prove it this weekend by joining hundreds of libraries throughout the country on Saturday for "National Gaming Day at your Library," the first celebration of what is hoped will become an annual event.

"Libraries are becoming family destinations, and are continuously offering new formats and innovative programs and services that educate, entertain and expand interaction with their users," said Mary Jo Joiner, director of the library.

While some may think of libraries as just repositories of books, these institutions are actual learning centers that provide a variety of informational, instructional and entertainment resources such as games.

"Gaming is yet another example of how libraries are becoming more than just educational resources for the communities they serve. They are also places where users of all ages are welcome to have fun together," Joiner said.

During National Gaming Game, libraries will provide a social gaming experience not found elsewhere in the community. Many libraries will participate in an attempt to establish a record for the most number of library patrons playing the board game "Pictureka" at the same time, and the Kenai Community Library will offer numerous new board games, and some old favorites, suitable for the whole family.

Games available to play will include: Monopoly Express, Clue Express, Scrabble Express, Wits and Wagers, Apples to Apples Kids, Sorry! Sliders, Blokus, Hey! That's My Fish, Tsuro, Trans Europa, 10 Days in Asia, and Don't Break the Ice.

"We tried to keep it to games people could play in 20 to 30 minutes so they could rotate. People can also bring their own games if they have one they'd love to play and have been looking for people to play with them," said children's librarian Mary White.

Like a good book, so too can games capture and share ideas with those who invest the time, but more importantly games are valuable assets, since they engage children and adults with meaningful leisure experiences while simultaneously introducing and reinforcing a variety of literary and social skills, according to White.

"The goal is great interaction, communication and socializing," she said.

National Game Day at the Kenai Community Library will be Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, contact the library at 283-4378.

Joseph Robertia can be reached at

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