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Three months of gaming at DCDL

I put this up on my blog at kellenfreeman.net, but John asked me to put it here as well. I agreed because he talked about what his collection was doing and hopefully sharing the information about our collection will give a good contrast on perspective of the different types of collections there are. It will also help illustrate that what’s popular in one library might not be so in another library.


So three months ago (about) we launched board games at my library (Delaware County District Library in Delaware, OH). It took us awhile to get going, but we added 22 of them (full list down below). Over the last three months I’ve been greeted with enthusiasm and excitement over this collection, more than I could have anticipated. Honestly, I thought if these got checked out maybe 10 times that would be a success.

I’m happy to announce the 22 games have checked out (or been renewed) 113 times! That’s just over 5 times per game (though the numbers aren’t that generous to all of them).

That said, the number of check outs has gone down slightly each month, with 40 the first month, 38 the second, and 35 the third. Not sure if this will continue to dwindle or if it will start leveling out here soon to a steady 30 or so? Only time will tell.

But still, I’m really happy with the collection and how popular it’s been. I’ve heard some really good stories from our patrons about the games, including a stories of bragging up our library to people. There was a great discussion on reddit.com/r/boardgames the day the collection launched, and on the Facebook page for a local board gaming society.

One thing I wanted to do was to create a site where our patrons and staff could go to learn more about the games. The obvious choice for anyone who plays board games is BoardGameGeek, but my fear was that it would be overwhelming. Too much information and information on things we don’t have. I wanted to try to control the information in a way that introduces new players to these games without giving them more than they need to get going. So I created a wiki that’s linked to our library’s website using Google Sites. You can find the link to it here. It’s not much but it does what I was looking for. I’m still looking for ways to improve it and expand on it over time as well, such as including pictures of the game and it’s components.

As for the games themselves, here’s the list what games we have and how many check outs and renews they have had over the first three months.

Name Check Outs Renews
Carcassonne 4 0
Dixit 4 1
Escape: Curse of the Temple 5 2
Forbidden Island 4 3
Hanabi 3 1
Hive 2 1
King of Tokyo 5 1
Memoir ’44 5 0
Mr. Jack 5 3
Once Upon a Time 3 2
Pandemic 7 0
Qwirkle 4 0
The Resistance 3 1
Rory’s Story Cubes 3 0
Settlers of Catan 5 0
Small World 3 2
Takenoko 2 1
Ticket to Ride 4 0
Tokaido 6 2
Tsuro 4 2
Wits and Wagers Family 4 2
Zombie Dice 3 1

One of the big concerns about the collection was missing and damaged pieces. So far nothing has come back damaged, though I’m still wincing in fear for when it does happen. But we have had a few missing pieces. Missing pieces went to Ticket to Ride (2 trains), Qwirkle (red square tile), and Zombie Dice (red die). Thankfully, Ticket to Ride comes with spare trains, and one of them was returned by the patron later. As for the other two, MindWare and Steve Jackson Games were awesome and sent us replacements for free helping us keep our games in working order.

Because of the popularity, we went ahead and started ordering some more games. They have largely arrived, though we’re still waiting on a few. These should hopefully be processed and ready by the end of the month and out the door soon. The list of games we’re adding are:

  • Animal Upon Animal
  • Catan Junior
  • Coup
  • Imperial Settlers
  • Incan Gold
  • Jaipur
  • Lords of Waterdeep
  • Machi Koro
  • My First Carcassonne
  • Power Grid
  • Robot Turtles
  • Roll for the Galaxy
  • Splendor
  • Suburbia
  • Sushi Go
  • The Duke

I wanted to make sure we were aiming to have some things for families with small kids. This was an oversight in the first set of games we bought, and something I wanted to remedy when we ordered more. They’re actually the priority when it comes to this next set so if everything goes well, they’ll be ready to go before the others. It’s still early in the collection and I’m not sure where we’re going next. Hopefully in another 3 months I’ll still have good news to share about the collection as it grows. I would like to start adding a regular game night into our library’s event calendar, though aside from a few events in this summer, nothing regular has been planned yet.

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