We have thousands of video games for checkout at the Library!

With the new movie Pixels coming out on July 24th in theaters, we thought iMan and young boy with video game controllers smilingt would be a great time to let you know that we have thousands of video games for checkout at the library.  We have games for the most recent consoles: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS. We also have games for these slightly older (but still great!) consoles: Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and PlayStation 3. If you still love your PlayStation 2, we have games for it, too. If you like PC games, we have some games for checkout, but newer games for PC are sold mostly through online services like Steam.

For each library card, up to five video games can be checked out for three weeks and renewed two times as long as no one else is waiting. Games that are rated “M” for mature may only be checked out on an adult’s library card. Is there a video game you’d really like to play, but we don’t have it? Ask us to buy it! Go to Recommend a Purchase and we might buy it for you to borrow. Please remember we don’t buy online and multiplayer-only games or games that require an online account.

I’m sure you’ve heard that video games can be bad for you, but scientists are also arguing for the benefits of playing video games. From the Huffington Post article, 9 Ways Video Games Can Actually Be Good For You, scientists find that gaming can help increase the “areas of the brain responsible for spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning and fine motor skills in the hands.” Further, playing video games can improve the “ability to discern subtle changes in the brightness of an image.” This means gaming can actually improve your eyesight. A third way video games can be beneficial is to treat depression. A group of children assigned to play a specially-designed game had a 44% complete recovery rate versus only 26% that had traditional one-on-one counseling.

In addition to having video games for check out. We also have numerous programs with video games. Always check our monthly newsletter, Discover BCPL, to catch what’s coming.

For children, we have an Android tablet with games appropriate for children that can be played while you’re visiting the Main library in the Youth Services 2nd floor area.

For teens, we have several recurring events:

FLORENCE BRANCH
Teen Cafe (Middle/High School)
Wednesdays at 3:15-4:45 p.m.
Drop in for gaming, Internet, snacks & more! Xbox 360, WiiU, NES, and PCs are available. The teens are currently playing Super Smash Bros. for WiiU almost exclusively. Also, Minecraft computers are set up during this time.

Teen Night (Middle/High School)
Last Friday of the Month from 6-8 p.m.
Want to hang out after the library closes? Now is your chance! Pizza, games & more! Xbox 360, WiiU, NES, and PCs are all made available — most of them play Super Smash Bros. for a good majority of the night. Also, Minecraft computers are available.

Teen Gaming: Super Smash Bros. for WiiU (Middle/High School)
Thursday, September 17, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Come and test your might against other Super Smash Bros. fans in a double elimination, no items tournament. Sign-in at 5:30, matches start at 6 p.m. Registration required. If you just like to watch Nintendo characters fight it out, you’re welcome to come watch!

WALTON BRANCH
Teen Gaming (Middle/High School)
Wednesdays from 4-5:30 p.m.
This starts again in September when school is back in session. Drop in for gaming, snacks & more! Enjoy Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii, and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe on the Xbox 360.

MAIN LIBRARY
Pokemon (grades K-12)
4th Monday of the Month from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Gotta catch ’em all! Bring your own deck or Nintendo DS; no trading. English cards only. Registration encouraged. Many teens bring their DS making this a great program for gamers.

Oh, and, by the way, if you really like the Pixels movie, here’s some of the games that have the video game characters that show up there:

Pac-man and the Ghostly Adventures for many consoles

Namco Museum DS (has Galaga and Pac-man)

Donkey Kong Country series for Nintendo consoles (Did you know Donkey Kong has his own children’s movies?)

Midway Arcade Origins (has Joust; also Joust 2 for the completionist)

Centipede Infestation for 3DS

–David

David Birkhead fixes computers at the library. David began playing video games when there was an entire console you hooked to your television just to play Pong. His video gaming dream is to one day get a perfect score in Pitfall II: Lost Caverns for the Atari 2600.

The Life and Legacy of Ralph V. Lents

Mr. Ralph Lents has been on our minds lately- hasn’t he? In an earlier blog, we discussed how a little man in a plain brown suit has been watching over the Lents Branch on North Bend Road, long after he passed from this life. You may have heard by now that the current Lents Branch building will be closing its doors on September 1 to make way for a building that will better meet the needs of Boone County taxpayers. What we haven’t talked about is who Ralph V. Lents was and what motivated him to sponsor a sweet little library in the heart of northern Boone County.

2_174_Mr__and_Mrs__R_V__LentsIn 1974 with the aid of the Walton Advertiser and encouraged by former students and friends, Ralph Vernon Lents wrote and published his autobiographical memoirs. Born in Marshall County in 1896 to fourth cousins Rufus and Ada Lents. He was named for Ralph Waldo Emerson and Rufus and Ada hoped their young son would go on to great things. Lents recalled the first few years of life were lonely and very poor living on a rural and often wet farm where Rufus Lents raised corn, tobacco and hay. As poor as the family was and as many times as they had to move to find better land and a better life, school remained an important focus in young Ralph’s life. Throughout the years, young Ralph would excel at his studies, often winning spelling bees and outshining classmates in Latin and Algebra. While in school, he would still need to help bring in tobacco and cotton on the farm, as well as, pick up extra work as janitor of the high school in Hardin, Ky. As a career and vocation, he chose his greatest love, teaching.

In his memoirs, Lents reminisced about his adventures before coming to Boone County, Kentucky. Those adventures included a broken engagement, a broken marriage and a nearly deadly bout of typhoid fever. Mr. Lents had a passion for squirrel and rabbit hunting, as well as, fishing. He would take every opportunity to go hunting and fishing with friends, neighbors and even students. Ralph Lents met his second wife, life-long partner and Boone County native, Mollie Newman, while teaching in Pendleton County. They married in 1925 and soon they both graduated from Murray State Normal School, a teaching college- now known as Murray State University.

Hired by school trustee J.P. Dolwick in 1926, Ralph and Mollie Lents settled in to teaching at the Constance School located on the Ohio River, near the Anderson Ferry. The couple taught for 34 years and spent the remainder of their lives in Boone County. They didn’t have children of their own, so they dedicated their lives to teaching others. People still talk about how they would see Mr. Lents standing on the school playground holding all of the little girls’ purses as they played at recess. Others remember how he would hand out pennies and political information at Halloween — R.V. Lents was an ardent Democrat throughout his life.  The couple were active 4-H Club leaders and never missed a Boone County Fair. A pavilion at the Boone County Fair Grounds is named after Mr. Lents.

As life-long learners and educators, the couple saved up approximately a million dollars to be used to build a library branch in Hebron. For a man who grew up without shoes and picked cotton, a million dollars was a lifetime of savings. In 1989, five years after Ralph V. Lents passed, the R.V. Lents Branch of the Boone County Library System was dedicated in his memory. Through the years, the Lents Branch has offered story times and programming to young children and homework help to students, as well as, books and helpful resources to their parents. At BCPL, we like to think that Mr. and Mrs. Lents would be pleased how their branch has served the community and the children and grandchildren of their former students. Their legacy lives on through the lives of all the people who have  made use of the books and services provided by the Lents Branch.

–Bridget

Bridget Striker, graduate of the University of Kentucky, has been with BCPL since 2001 where she uses her background in archaeology, historic preservation and GIS mapping to ferret out elusive bits of Boone County history as the Local History Coordinator. Bridget serves as Vice-Chair of the Boone County Historic Preservation Review Board and Executive Board Member of the Rabbit Hash Historical Society.