By Chrysa Keenon | Echo
The Zondervan Library now offers a variety of board games for checkout. There are over 32 in current circulation, according to Information Services, Assessment and Marketing Librarian Shawn Denny. The games can be found at the shelf in the front of the library on display and can be checked out for a length of three days. Games are currently non-renewable.
According to Denny, the idea of games as an addition to the library has been discussed in previous years. Denny believes libraries offering board games for checkout is a trend on the rise in both local community and, more recently, academic libraries as well.
"There are (many) good reasons to do it at Taylor; one is building community; it's part of who we are, and that's what I was trying to figure out (and) add that in, and getting people to interact face to face instead of on their devices," Denny said.
Another goal of providing games is to give students the opportunity to try out games they might not be able to afford. Students can request a game be brought into the library by emailing Denny directly. He plans on implementing a suggestion box for students to write about what games they want to see in the library in the future.
According to Denny, most of the games were provided by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Derek Thompson. Thompson is a part of a ministry called "Geeks Under Grace," that reviews new or little-known board games in order for the games to gain popularity. According to Thompson, up-and-coming games are frequently sent to him for free for him to review. After the review process, he donates them to local venues that could use them such as game stores or libraries.
"Board games come naturally to me as a mathematician because they're both really just rules that are set up to follow," Thompson said. "I've used them a lot in classes."
Thompson considers using board games in the classroom setting to be effective in teaching logic and critical thinking skills.
Denny also believes board games can improve education and life skills. He would like to write cards detailing what skill set each game would address, such as critical thinking, math skills and strategic planning.
According to freshman Emily Knight who works in the library and assists with the games, up to three games can be checked out by one student. Games are meant to be played outside of the library; however students can play inside the library, but should return them to the front desk after. There will be a $3 late fee for every day a game is overdue. After seven days of being overdue, the game will be considered lost, and the student will be charged a replacement fee. If there are damages found to the game or game pieces, the student may be charged a fee depending on the severity.