What board games are circulating at my library? (6 Months in)

We are six months into circulating board games at the Bucks County Library System. Let’s see what has changed from last time!

The Basics:

Circulation of Board Games

  • 2 Week circulation period
  • 1 renewal
  • Check out 5 games at a time
  • Holds can be placed
  • Games do not float
  • Late fees are $.20 per day with a $5 max
  • No replacement fee for lost parts
  • Games are bagged and must be returned to the service desk

The Most Popular:

Escape: The Curse of the Temple (16): This one is still the reigning champion and going strong. Everyone loves Escape and it is barely in the library.

The Most Holds:

Ticket to Ride (6 holds on it currently): I don’t often check how many holds the games have but when I do, Ticket to Ride is always at the top of the list. Everyone wants it.

The Steady Performer:

7 Wonders (15): 7 Wonders had a strong presence last time I checked and is still only slightly behind the front runner, Escape. The big difference is that 7 Wonders is often picked up for gaming nights. It is a constant contender at the library “Board Game for Grownups” gaming night.

The Climber:

Pandemic (11): Poor Pandemic had zero circulations last time I checked and now it is up to 11! It just took some time to get acclimated, I suppose. I’m pretty sure it will keep on climbing higher as well. I still can’t account for the slow start but it is nice to see it back in the swing of things.

The Upstart:

Carcassonne (12): Oh Carcassonne…we still love you, you old-timer. This venerable sir/madam gets it’s most use during board game events and has been picked up off of the display and played on the floor a few times.

The Complete List:

  1. Escape (16)
  2. 7 Wonders, Forbidden Island (15)
  3. Alhambra, Stone Age, Ticket to Ride (14)
  4. Hanabi, 10 Days in Africa, Kingdom Builder, Rory’s Story Cubes, Fauna, Survive: Escape from Atlantis (13)
  5. Carcassonne (12)
  6. Pandemic (11)
  7. King of Tokyo, Small World, Mascarade, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Catan (10)
  8. Citadels, Going Going Gone, Takenoko, Timeline (9)
  9. Dominion, Walk the Dogs, Monster Factory, Once Upon a Time, Dixit (8)
  10. Tsuro of the Seas, Puerto Rico, Save Dr. Lucky, Jamaica (7)
  11. Enchanted Forest, Power Grid, Cosmic Encounter, Bohnanza, Freedom the Underground Railroad (<6)
Dixit is very popular but all those labels can really gunk up a smaller box-top.
Dixit is very popular but all those labels can really gunk up a smaller box-top.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Be careful about labeling the boxes. With smaller games, the inventory list, the bar-code, and whatever crap your library likes to adhere to your media will obscure the box-top. And that box-top helps sell the game to people.
  2. Keep the display close to the desk and up-sell all the time. When an opening presents itself to promote the collection, I do so. If people are interested, I treat it like a reference interview and find the perfect game for them (this is hard when most everything is checked out but that is a good problem).
  3. Take time to play and teach games from the circulation desk. Small games like Hanabi or Love Letter are perfect for a quick teach at the table. The take-away I hope to achieve is that the library has something new and interesting to offer.
  4. Couple your display with signage for your board game events.
Clear Signage, prominent display, library event tie-ins. Only two games left and Dixit was checked out 15 minutes after the picture...poor Cosmic Encounters
Clear Signage, prominent display, library event tie-ins. Only two games left and Dixit was checked out 15 minutes after the picture…poor Cosmic Encounters


    1. Hey Jim!

      We have since ceased using bags for the collection. They didn’t provide the same visibility the actual game boxes provided — I mean, the boxes are usually colorful and attractive. So we did use the large zippered canvas bags provided by our Friends group. We also used clear bags with the hanger tops. Both can be found on Demco. Right now, we use four-corner rubber bands to keep the box tops secured.


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