About a dozen teens found a cure for the summertime blues at the North Bend Library on a recent Friday afternoon.
It wasn’t books that drew them in, but a video game tournament.
The North Bend, Snoqualmie and Fall City libraries are all equipped with Nintendo Wiis, Xbox 360s, Dance Dance Revolution pads, a Guitar Hero instrument, and lots of games. They regularly invite teens to play and munch on free snacks.
“It gets teenagers who may not come for traditional library programs involved in the library,” said Sarah Lynch, the Valley’s teen services librarian.
She said the video game programs encourage collaboration among the teens and teach them technological skills.
“I try to push the books a little, too,” Lynch added. She’d set out a smattering of teen-friendly titles on a table next to the popcorn, cookies and lemonade that were provided by Friends of the North Bend Library.
Josh Goodwin, 12, said he’s made new pals at the library gatherings, which transform gaming from a solitary undertaking to a social activity.
“It’s really fun because everybody can hang out with each other. I’m getting to know a lot more people,” said Goodwin, whose favorite game is “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” on Wii. He frequents the library, usually to use computers. He said he’ll occasionally also do some reading: “I like Garfield comic books.”
Zeke Kingery said he’d been gaming at the library almost every Friday for a year. His game of choice is a soccer program called FIFA 07.
“It’s really fun, and I don’t get any other chance to play video games,” said the home-schooled 11-year-old, who uses the library just about every day for computers and reading.
• For information about Game On! and other King County Library System programs, visit www.kcls.org.