February 14, 2023

AASL February Column

AASL Column

AASL February Column

Lucy Campbell and Barbara Opar, column editors
Column by Barbara Opar

This month we are sharing something on the lighter side. Public libraries have long provided board games and puzzles for patrons. Now academic libraries are getting into the “game”. Why games, especially when academic libraries are facing budgetary challenges?

The answer is both simple and complex. Libraries are feeling the need to provide resources for the whole person and games can help address this concern. Games have many social benefits. They teach social awareness, and collaboration. Players learn to share, wait, be polite to others, and cope with losing. As well, the participants learn how to compromise. Games can relieve stress, as such activities trigger the release of dopamine, improving emotional and mental health. But there is more to it than that. Games can aid in inquiry, thus also addressing critical thinking.
From an academic point of view, yet another reason to collect games is game theory in design. This is known as Gamification. The NewSchool has a class where students are asked to design their own games, so students play games in order to understand the principles.
Given this background, the reason for acquiring games may be clearer. But what games? While all board games and puzzles can fit the bill, there are definitely some which are more aligned with architecture. So the games chosen are unique to this branch. The main library already provides games like Jinga. These games focus on building like Lego or represent iconic design such as we see in the choice of puzzles. Below shown are the games being ordered by the Syracuse University Libraries for use and circulation in the King+King Architecture Library. This is the smallest branch library on campus and a space within Slocum Hall where students learn, study and often unwind.
The List:
  • Hues and Cues – A Vibrant Color Guessing Game
  • Architectura – Board Game
  • LEGO Architecture, Taj Mahal – Building Set
  • Catan – Board Game
  • Iconic Buildings – Memory Game
  • 7 Wonders: Architects – Board Game
  • Thames & Kosmos – Architectural Engineering Kit
  • Blueprints – Board Game
  • Pantone – Creative Card Game
  • Thames & Kosmos: My City – Board Game
  • Concept – Party Game
  • Imhotep: Builder of Egypt – Board Game
  • Bauhaus Around You – Card Game
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Falling Water – 500 pieces, double-sided
  • Colorful Houses – 1000 pieces
  • Grand Canal with Gondola at Sunset, Venice Italy – 1000 pieces
  • World Architecture – 500 Pieces
  • New York Skyline – 1000 pieces
  • London Bridge – 1000 pieces