Local libraries looking for 'heroes'

Tuesday, March 18th 2008, 1:13 pm
By: News 9

By Darren Brown, News9.com INsite team   

Everyone needs a hero these days, especially your local library.  We're not talking about the action adventure type, but the avid reader type.  It helps if they're good at video games, too.

"Video games in libraries is a big trend right now.  We're always trying to do something new, something fun, staying on top of what the teens want us to do," said Emily Williams.  She's the Young Adult Services coordinator for the Metropolitan Library System.  Williams travels the library circuit, with Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band" video games in tow.

Video games in place of literary classics? Well, it's not quite like that. In order to get teens to check OUT books, you must get them INTO the library, Williams said. "We see a lot of new teens in the library, people that might not have looked at the library for awhile are coming in and checking us out." 

With games like "Guitar Hero" in play, the local library isn't nearly as quiet as it used to be.  "You know we still try to provide some quiet study areas, but libraries are not quiet places anymore," Williams said.  "That's part of the fun, teenagers are loud!"

But sitting quietly off to one side of the room, oblivious to the screaming guitars, sits a table  filled with real live library books just waiting to be read.  They're not random books, they're carefully chosen to interest the teenage gamers. "We try to tie things together -- so we've got some books over there -- we've got books on Guitar Hero, and video games, and CDs," Williams said.

Video games and libraries seem an unlikely pair. "When you tell that to people -- it's not two things they put together," Williams said. "But, it's just a great program to bring teens into the library.  They hang out together and have fun."