The Pickerington Public Library will implement new multimedia services this fall when it introduces gaming to its programming.

The Pickerington Public Library will implement new multimedia services this fall when it introduces gaming to its programming.

While staffers promise it won't resemble an arcade, the library is expected to increase its collection of video games and devices, as well as more traditional board and card games this October or November.

According to Judith Cosgray, PPL reference librarian, the "Introducing Gaming to the Library" effort is the latest evolution of multimedia services at the 101-year-old library.

The program, which is being funded by a $1,500 state Library Services and Technology Act grant, is designed to reach out to patrons who enjoy video games, as well as board and card games, but it won't just be about fun.

"We're looking at entertainment, interaction, socialization and education," Cosgray said. "This will be for people of all ages. You can learn a lot from games - especially the games we're getting."

The library already owns a Nintendo Wii, an interactive, motion-controlled video gaming system. It was put to use last November when library staffers and patrons participated in National Gaming Day activities, but by and large hasn't been widely used because the library only has two game-control devices.

When the library receives its grant in September, Cosgray said, two more control devices and a steering wheel for driving games will be purchased.

Board and card games also will be purchased, and the library will encourage people of all ages to learn the games and interact with their peers or with people of different age groups.

"All the games will be family-friendly," she said. "Not only are we going to use games in the library, but we're looking to start an outreach program to possibly take some gaming to some assisted-living facilities.

"This really is a newer aspect to the library," she said. "Some of these games will be historical in content and there is a learning process to those, a hierarchy, a set of rules."

Cosgray said the library hopes to better serve all its patrons through gaming, and she believes it will be a fun way for youths and others to learn about various topics.

"When you disguise learning as something fun, the learning tends to last much longer," she said.

Because the games and gaming equipment will be purchased with grant money, the library will assume no costs for the new programming.

Likewise, the games will be free to patrons.

However, Cosgray said, there likely will be a structured scheduling process to use most or all of the games, and none of the games or gaming equipment will be available for checkout.

"Intergenerational use, that's what we're really hoping to see happen," she said. "With winter coming on when we get the grant, it will be a fun way to get out and move and have fun without having to worry about snow."