Ngd2008

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What is National Gaming Day?

Ngd-small-logo.jpg
In the 21st century, libraries are about much more than books. On Saturday, November 15, 2008, hundreds of libraries throughout the country will showcase gaming programs and services in support of National Gaming Day @ your library (NGD). Gaming of all types at the library encourages young patrons to interact with a diverse group of peers, share their expertise with others (including adults), and develop new strategies for gaming and learning. Plus, it's a way for traditionally underserved groups to have fun in the library and interact with other members of the community.

View a map of participating libraries signed up as of September 30!

Find out how we did!

Read about it on our Gaming News blog

Where do we post the number of people who played in our NGD2008 event?

When you're done, fill out the NGD2008 survey to tell us how many people participated at your event! If you post pictures, videos, or anything else online related to National Gaming Day, please use the tag NGD2008 so that we can find them. And finally, if you have local press links about your event or want to share your own publicity, please send materials to Jenny Levine (jlevine@ala.org) so that we can get a more complete pictures of what happened this year. We appreciate your time in helping us track all of this!

What will happen on National Gaming Day?

ALA is coordinating two parallel activities for National Gaming Day. The first is a national videogame tournament. To sign up and help us choose the games that will be played, just fill out the participation form. We'll be using the Ann Arbor District Library's GT software for this event. You'll be able to organize a tournament at your library during which your kids can compete against kids at other libraries for national bragging rights!

In addition, ALA has arranged a donation of the game Pictureka! to every public library branch in the U.S. Also included in the package will be a free copy of the game Top Trumps, which we encourage you to use on Gaming Day. This is a major effort from Hasbro, the game's publisher, and we're grateful for their generous support. We also want to thank Chi TAG for helping to make this donation possible.

To learn how to play Pictureka, to see other board games you might want to consider using for the day, or to see more about the videogame tournaments, Scott Nicholson has created a video explaining the basics of NGD2008 for libraries.

We're going to use the game to try to set our benchmark record for the most number of people playing the same boardgame on the same day. We hope your library can join in and help us with this. Hasbro will be mailing the game during the first week of November to all public libraries, whether you have registered or not. Please contact ALA's Development Office at development@ala.org after November 10 to let us know if you have not yet received your game.

Finally, Wizards of the Coast is providing to the first 1000 library locations that sign up for participation with National Gaming Day @ your library 2008, all the materials needed to run both the Dungeons & Dragons® Roleplaying Game and Magic: The Gathering® Trading Card Game. You'll need to sign up for it by October 27 using the participation form at http://icanhaz.com/ngd (this applies to all types of libraries - academic, public, and school). We won't be coordinating any specific activities around this generous donation, but we do encourage libraries to offer a variety of games to play on November 15.

Please note that this offer from Wizards of the Coast has expired as of October 28, 2008.

The kits will contain:

  • 2 Dungeons & Dragons® 4th Editon Starter Set
    • Each Starter Set includes Dice, Dungeon Tiles, Tokens and Adventure - everything you need to play straight out of the box.
  • 1 Magic: The Gathering® League Kit containing
    • 1 Informational Sheet
    • 16 Two-Player Starter Games
    • 32 Alternate Art Promo Cards
    • This kit will support 15 players who can casually play Magic®, throughout the day.



How do we participate in the videogame tournament?

To sign up to participate in the videogame tournament, just fill out the registration form.

For the Rock Band and Dance Dance Revolution tournaments, libraries can play throughout the day at whatever times work best for them. Participating libraries will submit the names of their players in advance so it's up to you how you select those players. You could run a local tournament ahead of time (before November 15), choose your champtions in advance, or hold a lottery. It's completely up to you! The Super Smash Brother Brawl tournament will begin at 3:00 p.m. EST and will last for approximately 90 minutes.

Please note that libraries are not required to participate in all three tournaments. Your players can compete in one, two, or all of these - whatever works best for you. For more information about how to participate, including instructions for setting up a Nintendo Wii online, go to the GT System help pages for National Gaming Day.

When you're done, fill out the NGD2008 survey to tell us how many people participated at your event! If you post pictures, videos, or anything else online related to National Gaming Day, please use the tag NGD2008 so that we can find them. And finally, if you have local press links about your event or want to share your own publicity, please send materials to Jenny Levine (jlevine@ala.org) so that we can get a more complete pictures of what happened this year. We appreciate your time in helping us track all of this!

How do we participate in playing the boardgame?

If you're at a public library (including branches) in the U.S., you should automatically receive a copy of the boardgame Pictureka! from Hasbro and an Incredible Instruments mini pack of playing cards from Top Trumps USA in early November. We hope you'll still register to participate using the sign-up form so that we can put your location on the National Gaming Day map and include it in our publicity.

To help us set our record, just record how many people play Pictureka! throughout the day. At the end of the day, we'll have a brief form online where you can enter the number for your location. We'll then do all of the math and announce the final number. To help you prepare, Dr. Scott Nicholson has made a video explaining how "Pictureka!" works and offering additional games you could play that day.

When you're done, fill out the NGD2008 survey to tell us how many people participated at your event! If you post pictures, videos, or anything else online related to National Gaming Day, please use the tag NGD2008 so that we can find them. And finally, if you have local press links about your event or want to share your own publicity, please send materials to Jenny Levine (jlevine@ala.org) so that we can get a more complete pictures of what happened this year. We appreciate your time in helping us track all of this!

Are there any materials online to help us promote NGD?

Yes! There is a media toolkit available on the ALA website. In addition, you can download a postcard and print it out to help explain the benefits of gaming programs in libraries (51MB, PDF).

What does it mean to participate in NGD?

At a minimum, we hope your library will participate in the attempt to set our record for the most number of people playing the same boardgame on the same day. So you'll need to publicize your event (and we'll have some tools online to help you do that), run the boardgame activity on November 15, and then use a short online form to report your headcount afterwards. Publicizing your event locally will be essential, both to your patrons and to the media.

You could also offer other boardgames for patrons to play, whether you coordinate a tournament or just offer open play. We'll be posting additional suggestions for boardgame play in the near future. If you need help with this or can't afford to purchase some of the more modern boardgames, you could contact your local boardgame group if one exists to ask for assistance. If you have a local game store, you could contact them, too. They might also be able to help you promote your event.

If you have videogame equipment or are willing to coordinate having users bring in their own hardware, you could also participate in the national videogame tournament as a parallel activity. This isn't required to participate in Gaming Day, but it's a fun way to connect patrons at your library with patrons at other libraries around the country. We'll be posting best practices and suggestions for videogame play in libraries on this site in the near future as part of our grant from the Verizon Foundation.

Finally, you can also request free Magic and Dungeons & Dragons game kits from Wizards of the Coast by being one of the first 1,000 libraries to sign up to participate in Gaming Day before October 27. (Please note that this offer from Wizards of the Coast has expired as of October 28, 2008.) We encourage you to also offer this game for open play, in addition to Pictureka! and/or videogames. The point of the day is to give your community a safe space where different groups can come together to have fun playing games, so even just offering open play for traditional boardgames will help us reach this goal.

In the end, your library's participation can be whatever works best for you. Afterwards, we're going to ask you to fill out a short form to tell us how many people participated at your location. If you have pictures or videos you can share with us and the media, we're going to ask you to post them to Flickr and YouTube using the tag NGD2008. Or you can send them to us, and we'll post them for you. We also hope you'll share anecdotal stories and comments from participants. Other than that, though, you essentially can get three games, and you can let your patrons participate in the national videogame tournament, all at no cost!

When you're done, fill out the NGD2008 survey to tell us how many people participated at your event! If you post pictures, videos, or anything else online related to National Gaming Day, please use the tag NGD2008 so that we can find them. And finally, if you have local press links about your event or want to share your own publicity, please send materials to Jenny Levine (jlevine@ala.org) so that we can get a more complete pictures of what happened this year. We appreciate your time in helping us track all of this!

How can school or academic libraries participate?

Unfortunately, we can only send a copy of Pictureka! to every public library (main buildings and branches), but we're encouraging school and academic libraries to either participate in the national videogame tournament, find your own copy of Pictureka! to use to help set our record for the most number of people playing a boardgame at once, or partner with your public library to have a presence at their NGD event.

You might also try contacting your local boardgaming group to see if someone there has a copy of Pictureka! they'd be willing to let you use on November 15. Or you might want to approach Target, Toys R Us, and other retailers who are selling the game to see if they would be willing to donate a copy to your institution.

* Please note: School and academic libraries are eligible to sign up for the free Magic and Dungeons and Dragons kits, as long as you're one of the first 1,000 to do so before October 27. (Please note that this offer from Wizards of the Coast has expired as of October 28, 2008.)

Can we use the NGD logo in our promotions?

Please do! You can snag a copy by right-clicking on the image at the top of this page or by going to the logo's Flickr page and clicking on the "all sizes" option above the image. In fact, we'd love to see how you're promoting NGD, so feel free to send us any URLs or print materials you create (jlevine@ala.org).

Why gaming in libraries?

There are so many reasons gaming is a good fit for libraries! Learn more about why in the Advocacy section of this site.

When is National Gaming Day in 2009?

Start planning now for next year's Gaming Day on Saturday, November 14, 2009! To receive periodic announcements about this and other gaming-related initiatives at ALA, sign up for our mailing list!

Who can I contact for further information?

For more information about National Gaming Day, contact Jenny Levine, Strategy Guide for the American Library Association.


If you are at a public library and have not yet received your copy of Pictureka! from Hasbro, please contact Lisa Coy in ALA's Development Office by December 1, 2008. ALA has a limited number of games available on a first come, first serve basis. In your email, please include your name, library name, street address (no P.O. Box #'s), city, state, zip code and contact telephone number. Thanks again to Hasbro, Inc. for donating these additional games.


For more information about how the Wizards Play Network (WPN) can support your Library and where to sign up, learn more here. Also, the video spots from the WPN Gaming in Libraries presentation that occurred at ALA Anaheim 2008 are now ready. Click here to view the video presentation.

To receive periodic announcements about this and other gaming-related initiatives at ALA (including National Gaming Day on November 14, 2009), sign up for our mailing list!