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Mich. libraries turn up the noise with teen video game events

Sunday, February 24, 2008

(Photo)
Sawyer Vandanelzen, 10, of Rochester played guitar hero Saturday during the Game Play day at the Rochester Public Library in Rochester, Mich. About 100 teens compete monthly at the library's event. Video game events at public libraries are drawing crowds of teens.
(KIMBERLY P. MITCHELL ~ Detroit Free Press)
ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. -- Libraries in southeastern Michigan are turning the page on peace and quiet.

Video game events at public libraries are drawing crowds of teens, including about 100 competing monthly at "Guitar Hero" 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.

Hage stocked the shelves with 1,823 games. And the games are hot items, with an average of 1,300 checked out daily.

A competition in Rochester Hills was held Feb. 9, and similar events are being held at 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.


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