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.

Babies Belong at the Library!

There are many things to love about the library as a parent—lots of books, a fun and safe place for your children to explore and play, and storytimes designed especially for your child’s age. But did you know that we offer all these things for babies, too?

IMG_5577A lifetime of learning and literacy begins at birth. In the first four years of life, the brain increases to 80% of its adult weight. The brain then begins to prune connections based on experience. Connections used regularly become stronger and more complex. Connections not used are considered non-essential, and the brain eventually prunes them away to increase efficiency. What this means for you is the more connections you help your baby make early on in life, the better off your child will be—creating a child who is ready to learn when kindergarten begins and ready for a lifetime of learning beyond, too.

With an expansive collection of wonderful board books for babies, we help you to help your baby love books. Don’t worry if all your baby wants to do is chew on the book—that is how they learn! Modelling how to turn pages, pointing out favorite things (“Look, it’s a dog! We have a dog, too!”), and simply sharing a love of reading will do wonders for your baby.

Should my baby be rolling over by now? Why does he put his foot in his mouth? When will she laugh? If you are wondering about your baby’s development, we have staff members who are trained to administer the ASQ Ages and Stages Questionnaire. It is a quick snapshot of your baby’s development. You simply mark a few answers on five different developmental areas, then discuss the results. It is a great way to learn more about your baby’s development and where they are heading. Whether you are just curious to know how things are going or are concerned that your baby may have developmental delays, it is a great first step. We will come to the branch that is most convenient for you! To schedule an appointment, call Tyra at 859-342-2665, extension 8138.

IMG_20150408_100739143Best of all, the library offers Baby Time. You might wonder what in the world you do at a baby storytime…mostly, we have fun! Babies just love storytime. Peek in the window one morning and you’ll see lots of babies who are learning about so many things while they have a wonderful time! Storytime is a great way to bond with your little one, cuddling up together while you learn new rhymes, songs, and knee bounces to share at home, too! Babies’ brains are like sponges—bringing your baby to storytime supplies you and your baby with the fuel she needs to learn how to read when kindergarten comes around.

Baby Time also offers both you and your baby a chance to get out and socialize with parents and caregivers who are experiencing the same milestones that you are. This is especially important for you new mommies and daddies who are feeling overwhelmed! Lifelong friendships are made at storytime—not just for babies, but for you too!

Baby Time is a free opportunity for you to bond with your baby in a safe and fun environment while sharing your love of the library with your baby! We offer Baby Time at our Main and Scheben locations. Join us Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. at the Main library and Fridays at 9:30 a.m. at the Scheben branch now through April 25, then come back for our summer session starting in June. Scheben also offers an evening Baby Time on the second Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m.. We can’t wait to see you there!

–Susan

Susan Sitz has been a Youth Services Associate with BCPL for seven years. She has worked with children and teens of all ages, but loves getting to work with babies and toddlers best!