Arranging the Pieces: A Survey of Library Practices Related to a Tabletop Game Collection
Keywords:games, gaming, collection management, play
Objective – The purpose of this study is to explore collection development, cataloguing, processing, and circulation practices for tabletop game collections in libraries. This study used the term “tabletop games” to refer to the array of game styles that are played in real-world, social settings, such as board games, dice and card games, collectible card games, and role-playing games.
Methods – An online survey regarding tabletop games in libraries was developed with input from academic, public, and school librarians. Participants were recruited utilizing a snowball sampling technique involving electronic outlets and discussion lists used by librarians in school, public, and academic libraries.
Results – One hundred nineteen libraries answered the survey. The results show that tabletop games have a presence in libraries, but practices vary in regard to collection development, cataloguing, processing, and circulation.
Conclusion – Results indicate that libraries are somewhat fragmented in their procedures for tabletop collections. Libraries can benefit from better understanding how others acquire, process, and use these collections. Although they are different to other library collections, tabletop games do not suffer from extensive loss and bibliographic records are becoming more available. Best practices and guidance are still needed to fully integrate games into libraries and to help librarians feel comfortable piloting their own tabletop collections.
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