Strength in Standards
by Brian Mayer
Play is powerful. As we get older we forget how to play and engage each other. We get caught up in our daily routines, our cliches and our niches. But games, games rise above these self-imposed divisions. They bring us together and engage us. They challenge us and they enrich us.
As librarians, we connect patrons with resources. Educational, information and recreational resources. And our definition what qualifies as a resource has grown more expansive and come to include games. Are games recreational? Yes... Are games informational? Yes... And can games be educational? Yes.
Let me linger on that last bit... games are educational, educational resources. That is important, because when a resource has educational value, it carries weight. And when you can show how these educational resources connect to state and national standards, then you are able to open doors and start building some very strong foundations for your library.
Aligning games provides a foundation to support collaboration between different library types, departments, grade levels and content areas by extending programs and providing resources that support what is being done in the classroom.
They also provide a foundation to build community connections. Whether it is bringing together people in the community you serve, or strengthening the your library’s connection to the community by providing the resources they need.
And lastly, aligned games provide a foundation that promotes exploration, self-discovery, GENUINE inquiry and growth. Providing our students the opportunity to leave a little better than when they entered.
Brian Mayer is a Library Technology Specialist for the School Library System of Genesee Valley BOCES System. Both a certified Pre-K through 6th teacher and K-12 school library technology specialist, Brian has worked along with his colleagues to build a fully aligned board game library for loan to their member libraries.
During the course of his work, Brian has written several documents aligning modern board games with both New York State Curricular Standards and AASL's Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. Along with the work he does with the school library system, Brian also blogs about modern board games and their place as educational resources in school libraries at Library Gamer