Benson Memorial Library, Libraries, Video Games, Video Games in Libraries

Nintendo Switch Games at the Library


Nintendo Switch games are now officially part of our circulating collection at the Benson Memorial Library. Our circulating video game began (from what I can tell) in around 2015 and since then has grown to 43 titles which have circulated a total of 891 times since January 2015. Don’t be deceived by 891 circulations in 3 years and 5 months. At my library, that amounts to about 20 circulations per month. We average around 5,400 total circulations a month, so while this collection is small it does cater to a specific audience that appreciates there being video games available to borrow at their local public library.

That’s the key thing to remember about circulating video game collections: circulating video game collections will never be your biggest circulating collection, but they will cater to a specific audience that appreciates there being video games available to borrow at their local public library. One of the things you have to remember about a circulating video game collection is the excitement they bring to the public library. When a video game fan comes to the library and sees a circulating collection, they’ll react in a positive way. They will be overjoyed by the fact that not only can they borrow games before they may purchase them (and video games are expensive!), but they will also be overjoyed because you are paying attention to their interests and by having a video game collection you are showing them that you care about their interests. This is something public libraries can do really well if they set their heads and hearts to it. When we as public libraries cater to everyone in our community, a positivity springs up that spreads throughout our community. Keep adding to that positivity and over time you will see not only the popularity of your library grow but you will also see positive change in the community. And that’s what it’s all about.

Libraries, Video Games

Gaming Programs For All Ages at the Library by Tom Bruno


I’m excited about Tom Bruno’s new book, Gaming Programs For All Ages at the Library. Not only is Tom a most excellent, community focused librarian, but he’s also one hell of a gamer and he knows his stuff. I couldn’t think of a better person to be writing about gaming in libraries than Tom.

I got a chance to read through the book before it came out and let me tell you, this is a great resource to have if you’re looking into all things gaming at your library or even if you already have some gaming programs and collections in place. What this book does best is inspire the reader to keep trying, to keep growing, and to remember that gaming events really cater to a unique audience in your community. That’s one of the qualities of what great libraries do…they notice how they can reach out to everyone in their community. Gamers are a part of our communities, and Tom’s book will help you not only reach out and get them to the library but keep them there for years to come. I couldn’t recommend this book enough.

You can purchase a copy of Gaming Programs For All Ages at the Library by Tom Bruno here. Better yet, if you’re reading this here’s a promo discount code for 30% off of the book: RFLANDF30 (EDIT 6/5/18 this code only works in the USA and I will update later if/when I have an international code)

Here’s the official details on the book:

Gaming Programs for All Ages at the Library: A Practical Guide for Librarians
by Tom Bruno

Join librarian and lifelong gamer Tom Bruno on his quest to bring gaming to his library community, from bringing back classic board games such as Fireball Island to offering free play in the latest virtual reality games using the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive!

Gaming Programs for All Ages at the Library shows you how you can launch and support gaming programming in your library, including:

  • how to make the case for library gaming with your administration
  • how to acquire and loan gaming materials (whether or not you have the budget for them!)
  • how to publicize your library gaming programming
  • how to incorporate other library units into the gaming experience.

Everything from acquisitions to budgeting to circulation is covered in this practical guide — you’ll also learn about promotion, assessment, and experiential learning opportunities.

PLEASE NOTE: this isn’t a promoted post or anything like that. I don’t do those. I will probably get a free copy of the book at some point and that’s it.I’m doing this post for three reasons:

  1. I like Tom. I always have. He has a good and positive message at all times and he brings something good into this world.
  2. I love video games in libraries, and the more we talk about it and the more do it the better it will become. This books helps that mission.
  3. Along with Jenny Levine and Scott Nicholson, Tom names me as being part of what he calls The Dynamic Trio of Library Video Gaming in the book, and he also quotes some of my publications on video games and libraries and talks about how there was once a Ms. Pac Man machine on The 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library. That was very kind of him. It was also very neat to be mentioned alongside these really great people.
Video Games

A List of 50 Fantastic Video Games According to Justin Hoenke TAKE 2

Image by Raina Telgemeier. Used with her permission because she’s really nice like that.

I first made a 50 Greatest Video Games list in November 2015 and it feels like it is time to update that. Spots 1 through 10 represent my all time Top Ten, but past that I did not have the energy to list the accordingly. All of them are great. They were so close to each other that ranking them is next to impossible.

  1. Animal Crossing New Leaf
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  3. Ms. Pac Man
  4. Sim City (Super Nintendo version)
  5. Super Mario Bros.
  6. Super Mario Odyssey
  7. The Legend of Zelda
  8. Final Fantasy VI (aka Final Fantasy III)
  9. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  10. Kickle Cubicle
  11. Animal Crossing (Gamecube)
  12. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  13. Super Mario Maker
  14. Shining Force
  15. Shining Force II
  16. EarthBound
  17. Super Mario Bros. 3
  18. Super Mario World
  19. Super Mario 64
  20. Super Mario Sunshine
  21. Super Mario Galaxy
  22. Yoshi’s Island
  23. Donkey Kong
  24. Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  25. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  26. Kirby’s Dream Land
  27. Starfox 64
  28. Super Metroid
  29. Metal Gear Solid
  30. Resident Evil 4
  31. Mario Kart 64
  32. Mario Kart 8
  33. GoldenEye 007
  34. Chrono Trigger
  35. Mega Man X
  36. Marvel VS Capcom 2
  37. Final Fantasy VII
  38. Tetris (NES version)
  39. Galaga
  40. Clash at Demonhead
  41. North VS South
  42. NHL 94-98 (Sega Genesis versions)
  43. Dragon Force
  44. Mortal Kombat II
  45. Aerobiz (Super Nintendo version)
  46. Doom
  47. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (arcade game)
  48. Contra
  49. Oregon Trail
  50. Dig Dug