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Old 05-20-2016, 11:56 AM   #1
Shostak
 
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Default RPGs in LOCAL Libraries

Thanks for your replies to my poorly worded previous post. I've started this new thread with a title that accurately conveys the question I intended to ask in the first: What RPGs are available in your local libraries?

I was surprised to find that, in the consortium in my area, the only RPG books that turned up was an old hardcover edition of Call of Cthulhu and GURPS For Dummies. I would have guessed at least a D&D book. So, I've been working with my local librarian to have some examples of RPGs in our collection, and she has been very receptive to the idea.

If your local library (or your kids' school library) doesn't have some of the games you love, it might be worth talking with your friendly neighborhood librarian to see if they would consider them for their lending collections.
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:28 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
I was surprised to find that, in the consortium in my area, the only RPG books that turned up was an old hardcover edition of Call of Cthulhu and GURPS For Dummies. I would have guessed at least a D&D book. So, I've been working with my local librarian to have some examples of RPGs in our collection, and she has been very receptive to the idea.
I think the problem with game books that keeps them rare in libraries is they don't fit well into either use model for library books. They aren't something that a patron would want to read once and then never need again (which could go into the general circulating collection), or which somebody might occasionally come in to check a specific fact (which would go into non-circulating reference).

The way you use a game book is much like the way you'd use an equipment manual or a book of standard procedures - you refer to it often, on short notice, and for as long as you are still doing the thing at all. Libraries sometimes have software manuals or procedure books in ready reference, because occasionally a patron *does* need to check a specific fact about one once, but they know that's not how most people use them.

Now for games that have adventure modules - those actually might fit the general circulation model well enough to appear worthwhile to spend funds on, if there are enough people playing *that particular game* in the patron pool.
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: RPGs in LOCAL Libraries

Don't get into libraries much, but was mooching about in one back home and found some Pathfinder modules hanging about near the graphic novels section. To be fair, modules are something that could fit the library model well - you're unlikely to need to use one for very long, or more than once...
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: RPGs in LOCAL Libraries

Libraries in the US increasingly offering things like programmable robots, telescopes, musical instruments, and hand tools for patrons to borrow. RPG (core or adventure) books fit this model nicely. And, being books, are in some ways more traditional collection items.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: RPGs in LOCAL Libraries

I lived in Boston, MA, when D&D 4e came out, and the public library there acquired copies of some of the core books. I now live in Lexington, KY, and have seen copies of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook on the shelves (and once, one of the librarians had even made a sort of spotlight display for them).

One issue I've come across with RPG books in libraries is that they tend to get stolen too often for some libraries to want to buy more. (My high school's library lost so many issues of Dragon Magazine to theft that they cancelled their subscription and withdrew every issue they still had.) I've heard fewer such complaints in recent years, but that may just be that such things don't ping my radar as often since I stopped working regularly in school and public libraries.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:02 PM   #6
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The only one in the local library here would be Darksword Adventures. Probably because the stuffy council who runs it didn't realize it was one.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: RPGs in LOCAL Libraries

My 2nd Edition Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide, that I got from a close friend, came from a High School Library in California.
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by thastygliax View Post
One issue I've come across with RPG books in libraries is that they tend to get stolen too often for some libraries to want to buy more.
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Originally Posted by Warlockco View Post
My 2nd Edition Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide, that I got from a close friend, came from a High School Library in California.
... but I'm sure yours has a nice big "WITHDRAWN" stamped across the bookplate.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: RPGs in LOCAL Libraries

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Originally Posted by thastygliax View Post
I lived in Boston, MA, when D&D 4e came out, and the public library there acquired copies of some of the core books. I now live in Lexington, KY, and have seen copies of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook on the shelves (and once, one of the librarians had even made a sort of spotlight display for them).
Yes, just offering RPGs is not really the same as letting the patrons know that they are there and can be used. Its great that your librarian has made an effort to market them the target audience.

Quote:
One issue I've come across with RPG books in libraries is that they tend to get stolen too often for some libraries to want to buy more.
Librarians usually think of collections as having a finite life span, so, while theft is a concern, it may not be a game-ender, so to speak. And, with free quick-start rules and rules being able to be purchased as PDFs, loss to theft becomes less of a problem. At very little investment, they could have some key games in basic form.

If you plan to talk with your librarian, consider pointing them to the book Dragons in the Stacks: A Teen Librarian's Guide to Tabletop Role-Playing and point out how the games might connect directly to other works in the collection (Call of Cthulhu is a perfect example).

If you have any success (or failure) stories of interesting your local librarian in offering RPGs, please share your experience.
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Old 06-28-2016, 01:37 PM   #10
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... but I'm sure yours has a nice big "WITHDRAWN" stamped across the bookplate.
I've never seen an ex-library book with that stamped on it. I'm pretty sure this is a regional difference. In my part of the US they'd be stamped with "DISCARD" or "DISCARDED" instead. Usually over top of the Library address on the bookplate, and along the front edge.
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