About the Manual

This manual features an introduction, eight programs for teens, and an annotated bibliography of books and films. The introduction includes ideas on promotion, funding, and gaining the support of the library and community. The programs include suggestions for offering them in both a high and a low technology environment to enable libraries in large and small communities with varying budgets and levels of technology to adapt them to their needs. Each program explains preparation and equipment that will be required so that librarians who have never hosted teen gaming programs may successfully plan and implement them. Librarians may freely adapt the manual programs to the needs of their libraries and communities. The annotated bibliography is provided to assist librarians in ordering resources cited in the manual programs.

Selection Criteria for Resources in the Manual

Most of the books recommended in the manual programs received at least two positive reviews in professional journals, are award-winners, and/or are on recommended reading lists such as those maintained by ALA’s Young Adult Services Association (YALSA) and TLA’s Young Adult Round Table (YART). In the event that a resource did not have reviews, at least one of the authors of the manual personally read the book, reviewed the web site or other resource, and can personally attest to its usefulness.

A Note About Web Sites

Recommended web sites featuring background information, instructions on program topics, and additional resources are included in the programs. They are suitable for teens or for use by the library staff and volunteers. Librarians may wish to bookmark sites intended for teens on the library’s computers, or display them near the computers.

All of the web sites were active as of January 2008. Sites often change, move, or are removed. It is highly advisable for librarians to view the web sites before directing teens to them. If an error message appears, it may be necessary to search for the web page title using a search engine or to locate another web site on the topic.

The presence of a link to a web site is not an endorsement of the site by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. This manual provides links as a convenience. Occasionally web sites lapse or they are taken over by inappropriate content. Web pages included in this manual may contain links to additional web sites that are managed by organizations, companies, or individuals. These sites are not under the control of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and the Texas State Library is not responsible for the information or links that you may find in them.

While the Texas State Library and Archives Commission does everything possible to find more stable sites and to remove inappropriate sites from the Texas Teens Read! manual, library staff should always view the sites before suggesting them to teens to ensure that the content remains suitable.

Professional Resources on Gaming in Libraries

Librarians planning to host Game On! TTR.08! programs may learn about gaming in libraries in these recommended professional resources.


Barack, Laura. “Gaming at Your Library”. School Library Journal. July 2005.
This is an extremely short article suggesting the use of some video games in libraries as a way to attract young people.  Available through TexShare EBSCO Host database.
Czarnecki, Kelly. “A Revolution in Library Service: Gaming is More than Just a Lure Into the Library”. School Library Journal. May 1, 2007.
This article discusses how to bring teens into the library through gaming.  Available online at www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6438272.html?q=gaming+in+your+library+2007
Delneo, Catherine. “Gaming for Tech-Savvy Teens”.  Young Adult Library Services.  Spring 2005.
This article introduces gaming in libraries and has an excellent bibliography of professional resources as well as a teen fiction booklist.
Levine, Jenny. “Gaming and Libraries: Intersection of Services”.  Library Technology Reports. September/October 2006.
This issue of Library Technology Reports consists of chapters rather than articles, and each chapter deals with a different aspect of computer gaming and libraries.  Chapter 1 helps explain why libraries should be involved in computer games.  It also deals with complaints against violence and explains how games can be used to encourage literacy. Available through TexShare’s EBSCO Host database.
Levine, Jenny. “Getting Your Game On”.  American Libraries.  January 2007.
Jenny Levine, the Shifted Librarian, discusses her passions, gaming and libraries in this column.  Available through TexShare’s EBSCO Host database.
Phillips, Amy and Becky Spilver. “Console Video Games: A Core Collection for Elementary/Middle Grades. School Library Journal. July 1, 2006.
This article presents a list of ten top game titles. In addition to the ESRB ratings, it includes more specific ratings by grade level. Some of the games listed are for grades 6 and up, making them suitable for teens. Available online at www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6350090.html?q=console+games.
Sellers, John. "Teen Marketing 2.0".  Publishers Weekly. September 3, 2007.
This article describes how publishers are using MySpace, Gaia Online, and other sites to attract teens. For example, publishers invite teens to sign up for programs and receive advanced reading copies of books in exchange for reviews. Some publishers provide blog tours, in which teens post questions for authors, in lieu of traditional book tours.  Available online at http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6473679.html?industryid=47152.
Ward-Crixell, Kit. “Gaming Advocacy: Report on TechSource Symposium: New Ways Librarians Can Support Learning and Literacy”. School Library Journal. September 1, 2007.
Ms. Ward-Crixell discusses different ways to include gaming in libraries. This report on the TechSource Symposium discusses issues of interest to librarians who work with children and teens. Available online at www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6472364.html?q=gaming+2007
Wilson, Heather.  “Gaming for Librarians: An Introduction”.  VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates).  February 2005. 
This article discusses several different types of games that could be used to entice teens into a library, and it provides an annotated bibliography of books, magazines, and web sites with additional information. There are sections of the article devoted to computer and video games, role-playing games, card games (collectible and trading cards), miniature games, and board games. There are also sections about games as tie-ins to books, movies, and television shows, explanations of why libraries should include games, and ideas for how libraries can get games.  See VOYA at http://pdfs.voya.com/VO/YA2/VOYA200502YA101.pdf


Neiburger, Eli. Gamers…in the Library?! The Why, What, and How of Videogame Tournaments for All Ages. (ALA 2007)
This book will help you with the logistics of holding a videogame tournament in the library, including tips on what has and hasn’t worked in other libraries. Available through the ALA Store at www.alastore.ala.org/SiteSolution.taf?_sn=catalog2&_pn=product_detail&_op=2331.

ALA TechSource Symposium Webcasts

ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium 2007.
Dozens of presentations from the symposium are available as MP3 audio files on this site, including those listed below and keynote presentations by James Paul Gee, Henry Jenkins, Liz Lawley, and Gregory Trefry.
Gallaway, Beth. “Developing Collections of Games for Libraries”.  ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium 2007.
Ms. Gallaway discusses how to make the case to include video games and software in your collection, and how to evaluate, select, purchase, store, and market PC and console games.  On this web site, you may listen to an MP3 audio file of the presentation and view the PowerPoint slide show.  
Fallow, Katherine.  “What IF: Gaming, Intellectual Freedom and the Law”.ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium 2007.
Several states have passed laws restricting minors' access to violent video games.  Courts have invalidated these laws under the First Amendment.  Some groups advocate laws to regulate access to games based on their content, or laws banning violent games. These organizations and individuals may turn their attention to libraries that add games to their collections. This presentation discusses intellectual freedom principles and the First Amendment in relation to games and gaming activities, along with recent court decisions addressing minors' access to video games, the legal status of game ratings, and policy developments.  Listen to an MP3 audio file of the presentation on this site.
Laszczal, Kelly, Eric Currie, and Alex Tyle.  “How’d They Do That? A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Gaming Program at Your Library.” ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium 2007.
On this web page, you may listen to the MP3 audio file of this presentation to learn how to create a successful gaming program on a limited budget, including Dance Dance Revolution tournaments, Halo 3 tournaments, online discussion groups for teens, equipment, and games that work well for the library.

Web Sites

YALSA Gaming Lists and Activities
This YALSA web page includes a list of the top fifty games and activities.  It also includes the content for a brochure entitled Why Gaming @ your library which includes discussion of why libraries should be involved with teens in virtual communities.
YALSA Teen Tech Week
The first annual Teen Tech Week was celebrated from March 4-10, 2007.  The second annual Teen Tech Week will be from March 2 - 8, 2008.  Teen Tech Week is a national initiative by YALSA aimed at teens, their parents, educators, and other concerned adults. The purpose is to ensure that teens are competent and ethical users of technologies, especially those that are offered through libraries. The "Activities" section of the web page has some great ideas for going virtual at your library.
Page last modified: August 12, 2011