Eau Claire library celebrates International Game Week

L.E. Phillips Public Library held game events for International Games Week events

Jenna Erickson

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Eau Claire eats
April 2, 2020

Photo by Taylor Wilkinson

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library held game events — including cribbage, cards and Putt-Putt mini golf — for International Games Week.

Cribbage, Sorry and Go-fish: a few games that just about anyone can play throughout the entirety of their life.

“Customers of all ages participate in a variety of activities,” Anna Zook, the reference and digital services librarian at L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, said. “We had customers ages 7-70 playing putt-putt miniature golf on the second floor near the reference desk, and our well attended Adult Game Night had three generations of people interested in playing tabletop games.”

From Saturday, Nov. 2 to Sunday, Nov. 10, the Youth Services Program of the local L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library held game events at the library in celebration of International Games Week.

According to the event calendar on the library website, cribbage, cards, Putt-Putt mini golf, video game olympics, various board games and more were being played and offered throughout all of last week.

They held an adult game night on Friday, Nov. 8 at the Brewing Projekt on Oxford Ave., according to the library website.

This was the library’s second annual International Games Week celebration, but the American Library Association (ALA) has been celebrating games in libraries since 2007, Zook said.

According to StarNet, a website created in collaboration with the American Library Association, International Games Week is an initiative run by volunteers from around the world.

The ALA’s goal is to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational and social value of all types of games, according to the website.

Zook said the Youth Services Program at L.E. Phillips Memorial Library wants to create a broader sense of community and engage with diverse populations.

“It serves as an opportunity for the library to feature gaming as an alternate form of literacy and connect customers with the idea that games belong in the library,” Zook said.

Libraries are places for people to gather, share and learn, and games offer people the opportunity to engage in all three activities, she said.

Bradley Lindstrom, the reference coordinator for the international games week, said the team has learned a lot over the last two years and plans on continuing their participation in the years to come.

“Every year will likely bring something new and we’re quite open to suggestions and community involvement,’’ Lindstrom said.

Lindstrom said he is a gamer and finds a lot of value in the comradery and enjoyment he gets out of board games, video games and tabletop games, which is why he thought it would be a great idea to celebrate International Games Week at the local library.

“Library customers appreciate coming to the library and participating in the many activities we have to offer,” Lindstrom said.

Zook said UW-Eau Claire students and community students should shake off the stereotype that the library is just a place for books and materials to be checked out.

“We hope that more community members will join us for our third Annual International Games Week celebration in 2020,” she said.

Erickson can be reached at [email protected].