They got their game on at the library

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The fourth-annual National Gaming Day was held Nov. 12 in hundreds of libraries throughout the United States.

Last year’s event hosted more than 26,000 participants and the American Library Association expected this year’s event to be even bigger. The American Library Association set up the National Gaming Day with families as its focus.  While people can go to play online games, these libraries also provided board games, card games and movies suitable for the family.

The American Library Association is trying to reinvent the public opinion of the library, from a place to rent and read books to an archive of knowledge and entertainment.  In a new release it said the goal of National Gaming Day is to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational and social value of all types of games.

The news release stated data of budget-cutters taking aim at libraries. Hours, staff and services at local libraries was the No. 2 budget cut with 19 states reporting cuts in funding for their public libraries.

“Libraries are always going to be relevant,” said Marilee Clark, an associate librarian and resident of Orem. “As we get more into a digital world, we can still have immediate access to those topics.”

The Orem library has roughly 1,000 people using its resources daily. Besides students going to the library to study, many other people in the community can use it for everything from small business development to employment.  In addition to renting books and audio tapes, other library services include renting out videos, games and offers free book downloads and internet access. Scheduled events at the library include kids story times, workshops for the community and benefit concerts.

As part of the American Library Association, the Provo Library held its second-annual Teen Book Fest with keynote speaker Allie Condie, who is a New York Times best seller.

Community Relations Coordinator of Provo library, Courtney Lowe said the Teen Book Fest is a good opportunity for teens to come together and get acquainted with the others of their books and the use of the library.

“Since 2006 we have seen remarkable growth,” Lowe said. “Libraries as a thing of the past is a missed conception from those that don’t know all that it has to offer.”

Lowe said libraries are just as  important to the community as the were 50 years ago. Circulation is not struggling  but is only on  the rise giving equal opportunities of resources to everyone.

“One of the reasons why I love this community is because it does value libraries,” Clark said. “And the value that libraries bring to the community.”

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