Ms. Pac Man in the Library

By Jason Boog Comment

Do video games have a place at the library?

Chattanooga Public Library teen librarian Justin Hoenke installed a Ms. Pac-Man arcade machine in his library, building a sense of community play inside the library. Over at Medium, he wrote an inspiring essay about why he made this unexpected choice. Check it out:

Our 2nd Floor is currently in the middle of a major renovation and shift in thinking about how we provide service to our community. For us, it’s not so much about the stuff we have but the connections and memories we make. The 2nd Floor is a community hub for ages 0-18, a place where kids, tweens, and teens in the community can come to learn, relax, have fun, connect, and more. Ms. Pac Man fits in pretty nicely with this theme. Since we got Ms. Pac Man, groups of teens have started to hang around the machine, doing their best to top one another in high score contests. There are eruptions of the happiness every time a player pulls off an impressive move or evades one of those pesky ghosts.

If you want to read more about Hoenke’s video game and library work, you can read his archived posts at this link. In this digital age, more libraries are exploring their role as a community gathering place. The Cornell Library actually installed grass inside the library.

What’s the best community project you’ve seen at a library?