Published January 14, 2015
Video game events at public libraries are drawing crowds of teens, such as the about 100 competing monthly in a "Guitar Hero" event at the Rochester Hills Public Library.
"Getting teens to come to the library is right up there with getting them to go to church: It's not exactly the first place they want to go," Christine Lind Hage, library director, told the Detroit Free Press for a Sunday story.
Hage stocked the shelves with 1,823 games. And the games are hot items, with an average of 1,300 checked out daily. The games largely contributed to the library's 12 percent increase in circulation last year.
One competition in Rochester Hills was held Feb. 9.
"I think that pretty soon more people will be going to the library. It changed my whole opinion of it," said Phillip Lane, 18.
Video game events are being held at some other Detroit-area libraries.
Nearly 30 teens play "Guitar Hero" or "Dance Dance Revolution" every few weeks at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library, which offers 300 video games in its collection.
"It's a big social event," said Stephanie Jaczkowski, 17. "I've met a lot of friends there, and they're really good friends."
The Canton Public Library six months ago began offering games and holding monthly tournaments for Nintendo Wii bowling and "Super Smash Bros."
"Many of the games are complex. They're worthy in their own right. They can help build cognitive skills," said Brad Bachelor, teen librarian.