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Canadian Libraries Want $300,000 To Buy Games

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-nothing-that-can't-get-past-the-border dept.

Canada 229

AirborneGamer writes "The Toronto Public Library is asking for $300K to build up a collection of video games. They have not said if they will buy all types of games, or leave out the M-rated ones. As the City Councilor of Toronto said about the project, 'It may be the only time a young person comes in. It can act as a magnet to attract people. Once we get them in there, you can be darn sure that our librarians will be hard at work to introduce them to everything else the library can offer.' This is a good plan actually, and besides bringing kids into the library it will bring in parents and or guardians who otherwise may not visit the library on their own."

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229 comments

Excellent example.... (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655450)

... of public money well spent. Thumbs up, Toronto !

Re:Excellent example.... (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655486)

Let's just hope that EA don't set the sue-monkeys on them.

Re:Excellent example.... (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655518)

I want to create a free movie lending library that streams to Roku boxes and only allows one person to watch a movie at a time per disc owned but legalities make it difficult. It's probably legal to do but to do it would require removing the DRM, to transcode the content into the right format, which is illegal. :p

Re:Excellent example.... (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656170)

I want to create a free movie lending library that streams to Roku boxes and only allows one person to watch a movie at a time per disc owned but legalities make it difficult. It's probably legal to do but to do it would require removing the DRM, to transcode the content into the right format, which is illegal. :p

The scenario you're describing is only illegal in the US, this article is about Canada. Format shifting is legal up here.

Re:Excellent example.... (1)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656276)

Why bother? The libraries already have DVDs on the shelf. Most suburban public library branches have hundreds of titles available. Plus they are all listed on the web and available for reserve. Go to the local branch, check them out, watch them for a week, copy them (with DVD decrypter or DVDshrink) if you choose to, bring them back, repeat.
    All legal, all free, all under-the-radar of the corporate monkeys and their lawyers.

Re:Excellent example.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655540)

Can't we just give them some of that internet money? That way we can avoid any whining about the use of taxpayers money and we don't risk Canada going on strike

Re:Excellent example.... (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656058)

You notice we never see stories when libraries want to spend money on graphic novels, or money on subscriptions to teen magazines, or money on the hundreds of other items that are only of interest to a few people. You're not going to believe this, but libraries in the Chicago system have (gasp!) chessboards! Call out the Tea Parties!

But we're supposed to all go into paroxysms of anti-government outrage when a library system wants to buy...games.

You know how many soldiers $300,000 would train and outfit? None! You get ONE KID who comes from a family too poor to buy games and he learns to love games and grows up to start a company that makes games and you've made many times that much money in taxes.

God damn I am tired of people who've enjoyed the fruits of public spending and are now complaining about anybody else doing so.

Good idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655474)

Go Canada!

Re:Good idea (-1, Flamebait)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655602)

... You mean "Go Toronto!"...

And no one in Canada who isn't from Toronto likes Toronto. They suck because they do everything right, while the rest of us have to sit around in our backwater provinces screaming at our MLA and city counselors to start doing what Toronto is doing. For once I'd like to see some other city in another province do something right... Ok well B.C. deserves some credit for the Olympics despite the weather.

Re:Good idea (0, Flamebait)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655784)

Olympics? It would be nice if Canada would never again bid for the Failympics.

Re:Good idea (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656064)

I thought they did a great job, although ultimately I agree with you. I don't really see a point in the hundreds of billions of dollars athletes consume in order to compete. Really the Olympics are just an event where every country stands around and measures their penis size. I really feel bad for the athletes that don't do well despite the funding they receive. And by "don't do well" I mean they could still kick the crap out of any normal person in their sport, but they might have had an off day or were 1st to start meaning the hill hadn't be softened up giving the competitors to follow an advantage.

Then again I don't see many people outside the Olympics competing in sports like Ski jumping or bobsleigh.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655988)

The libraries in my city have been offering videogames for a couple of years now.

Or is your sarcasm detector broken?

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656144)

I have to assume the moderators aren't actually reading the parent post. It's quite obvious the post is meant to be satirical.

Re:Good idea (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655756)

Um .... have they heard about DRM?

Re:Good idea (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655960)

Most PS3, Wii, and XBoX games don't have DRM that goes beyond needing to be run on an actual un-modded console.

You're right about renting out PC games in a library. It just wouldn't work. Not with activation required, one-time use CD keys, etc.. But renting out console games?

Re:Good idea (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656096)

It might be console games. Over here you rent playstation games and consoles at video stores for some years now, and before that those old golden china and sega cartriges.

I think this is a good idea, it is good to get kids into libraries again - I spent a lot of time in my local library as a kid. Good memories...

Honestly probably a good idea, (3, Interesting)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655482)

Libraries are becoming increasingly less relevant to the generations who grew up with the internet at their disposal. I personally only made the trips back to the library when they started offering DVD's/ Blurays.

Re:Honestly probably a good idea, (4, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655580)

Books still do in-depth coverage that just isn't being done by the vast majority of the sites on the Internet.

They also have the advantage of better editing (compare, for example, to slashdot ...)

Libraries also do other things than just lend out books - if you or someone you know has pre-school kids, for example, you might want to check out their other programs. Ditto for pretty much any other age group, right up to seniors.

As a meeting place, they're also a lot safer than the local bar.

This is a great idea.

Re:Honestly probably a good idea, (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655886)

As a meeting place, they're also a lot safer than the local bar.

It struck me as odd that the local library had a condom machine in the toilet, but maybe I'm just missing out on some of the more modern uses for a library.

I've actually only just joined the library. They have much newer books than Project Gutenberg, so I can read recent fiction for free (and since I can get through most novels in an afternoon, it's a lot cheaper than buying them). I'm currently in the process of moving house, and after creating a large stack of boxes of books I'm a lot less keen on the idea of owning books and, just like films, I'd typically prefer to read a new book than one I've already read.

Online distribution (with a search function!) is useful for reference books, but eInk has to improve a bit more before I'd prefer to read a novel in electronic form than on paper.

Re:Honestly probably a good idea, (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656304)

As they said on Family Guy:

"What's a library, dad?"
"Oh, it's just a place where homeless people come to shave and go BM."
- Chris and Peter in Peter Griffin: Husband, Father...Brother? "

Re:Honestly probably a good idea, (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656086)

The web is quick 'n' dirty information, like indeed on /. It's where you see it first - or well at least well before the information arrives in book form. Traditional newspapers are in between. Way faster than books though lagging well behind web sites.

Books are great for reference of slowly-changing information, though web sites and e-books have their merit in that realm too. Books are certainly unbeaten when it comes to historical reference.

Nevertheless I believe books are here to stay for a long time to come. Libraries have their function for sure. If only to archive materials, and in that aspect I think it's only logical that they would expand to computer software, including games. It is a great way to sample material, and to broaden one's horizon.

Many countries have one library that has the task of obtaining and archiving at least one copy of anything that is published in print. It is a quite logical expansion to included other kinds of publications, such as music and software.

Not necessarily... (5, Interesting)

Pollux (102520) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656202)

As a meeting place, they're also a lot safer than the local bar.

My mother's assistant director at a suburban public library. They just developed a "youth center," filled with Wii & Playstation consoles to attract youth to the library and give them a place to hang out.

What they soon discovered was that it got more attention than they expected. Kids would just loiter there all day on the weekend, or all evening on weekdays. Many parents also dropped their kids off at the library in the morning and left them there all day. The library isn't built to be a babysitting service, but lots of parents didn't see it that way. They started having problems with graffiti, fights, turf wars, and other general mischief, and complaints from the general patrons have been on the rise.

Free video games in public places may attract kids, but they often attract the wrong kind of kids. The jury's out on whether or not the attraction actually increases awareness and utilization of the public library.

Not sure it's a good idea (1)

pete_norm (150498) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655488)

The kids that want to go to the library already do. Their parents usually are readers also and tought them by example.

Also, I'm not sure why a kid would want to go to the library to play video games. Most kids have what they need to play at home.

Seems like wasted money to me.

Re:Not sure it's a good idea (2, Insightful)

Heed00 (1473203) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655798)

The kids that want to go to the library already do. Their parents usually are readers also and tought them by example.

The idea is to give those kids who don't go another reason to go. If they don't go because they're not that interested in books, then they might go because of games. Once there, they might discover that books (or one of the other things on offer) hold something of interesting for them as well.

Also, I'm not sure why a kid would want to go to the library to play video games. Most kids have what they need to play at home.

Seems like wasted money to me.

The same reason people go for books -- not everyone can afford to buy every game they would like to experience. Most kids from a certain economic background might "have what they need", but there are significant sections of society that don't. Libraries provide public access to cultural materials -- this is simply recognizing that games are of cultural significance and should therefore be included in what's on offer.

Re:Not sure it's a good idea (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655864)

Hm, in my country you can borrow books and movies at the library, bring home for some time and then return them. Why would they play the video games at the library?

Bait and Switch? (4, Funny)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655492)

Sure you can play Super Street Fighter IV Jimmy, as soon as you finish reading War and Peace :D

Libraries, the NEW babysitter (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655494)

I can see kids getting dumped at the library. Enough kids in a confined space, with limited resources and supervision (and no where else to go). This could lead to problems. They need to tread lightly. I can see how this could succeed, but also how it could backfire.

Re:Libraries, the NEW babysitter (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655662)

Answer is for libraries to require parents to supervise their kids at all times.

Worked at our local library. (2, Insightful)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655496)

In Michigan our local library always carried computer games. Not always up to date but a good selection of Maxis games, tycoon types and even a few shooters. It seemed to work out quite well to me...

Re:Worked at our local library. (1)

killeena (794394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655810)

Many of them still do. In fact, some of them are also loaning Xbox 360/PS3/Wii games as well.

Is it enough? (1)

BumbaCLot (472046) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655498)

I know the library has DVDs and some music for free, but with Redbox having the newest movies for $1 and other game rental services out there, it is almost as expensive driving there with gas as doing something else almost free.

Not sure this is the best idea but what do I know?

Re:Is it enough? (1)

danny_lehman (1691870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655754)

good point, but i live in toronto and at the moment i am within 10 mins walking distance of two public libraries and two more community centres with their own library collections. so benefit/expense for me isnt an issue. i cant vouch for the rest of toronto, only east york.

Re:Is it enough? (1)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655842)

There is a library close by in most areas of the city and the TTC will take you where you want to be if there isn't. Hundreds of dollars in free books, movies or (now) games for the cost of a couple bus fares.

Re:Is it enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655984)

You still have to drive to a Redbox location, and it still costs a dollar per rental, due back in a very short period of time. At a library you can get a large amount of material for free and usually for 1 or 2 weeks at a time. So yeah, I'd say it's worth it.

DRM? (4, Insightful)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655500)

I wonder how DRM would work out with this sort of concept. If the game tries to keep itself from passing from user to user.

Re:DRM? (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655552)

I'm sure there's a solution for this, as you can rent games from lots of places other than the library, right? Maybe there are special editions of the games which are specially made for rental and not meant for sale or something?

17 USC 109; what's the Canadian counterpart? (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656474)

I'm sure there's a solution for this, as you can rent games from lots of places other than the library, right?

At least in the United States, 17 USC 109 reserves the right to rent or lend copies of computer programs exclusively to the copyright owner with three exceptions: 1. nonprofit libraries, 2. software embedded into a device that can't be copied out of the device, and 3. console games. So nonprofit libraries are the only place that one can try PC games without a demo before buying them. What does Canada's copyright statute say about this?

Re:DRM? (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656206)

Didnt you hear? Razor1911 are contracting to the Canadian government now.

Not really a library. (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655504)

Maybe we should stop calling them libraries. Library comes from Liber and refers to "inner bark" or wood, and refers to books made out of trees. I don't think music, videos and games are made of trees, nor are they rooted in trees. Maybe they do in the sense of telling stories, but I wouldn't consider half the media today to tell a congruent story.

Re:Not really a library. (4, Funny)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655542)

...I wouldn't consider half the media today to tell a congruent story.

Yeah, it's fairly rare that two stories nowadays are exactly the same shape and size. They always do things like change the words, and use different words. Something about "copyright" law.

P.S. You probably meant coherent.

Re:Not really a library. (3, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655590)

Words can change to refer to new things. It's called semantic shift. It's a normal, everyday phenomenon of human language. The vast. vast majority of people are completely unaware of the etymology and have no problem in understanding libraries as fundamentally places where information is stored.

And now that I think of it, can you source your etymology of liber? In Latin the word was used not only for writings written into wax tablets, papyrus and vellum, as well as for literary creations that hadn't even been written down. Martial refers to his body of epigrams, which he delivered at recitals (and only then were written down and preserved by the audience) as libri. Paper produced from wood pulp was unknown to the Romans.

Re:Not really a library. (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655822)

Webster's etymology states: from Latin, neuter of librarius of books, from libr-, liber inner bark, rind, book. 14th century.

Re:Not really a library. (2, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655620)

What do you mean, games and movies don't tell stories? Storytelling is the main driving force behind games nowadays, even on the consoles and even the mainstream ones, and they're often quite complex too.

Re:Not really a library. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655898)

Out of interest, what word do you use to refer to a file containing position-independent code which can be linked into an application at run time and provides a set of documented features?

Another word for a code "library" (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656490)

[devil's advocacy on]

Out of interest, what word do you use to refer to a file containing position-independent code which can be linked into an application at run time and provides a set of documented features?

That's an object code archive. The tool to make them is even called 'ar' because is an archiver.

Re:Not really a library. (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656180)

Maybe we should stop calling them libraries. Library comes from Liber and refers to "inner bark" or wood, and refers to books made out of trees. I don't think music, videos and games are made of trees, nor are they rooted in trees. Maybe they do in the sense of telling stories, but I wouldn't consider half the media today to tell a congruent story.

I guess the question then, is what is a "Library"?

Literally, I suppose, the word means a place that stores/lends books... But is that really all a library is? Just books?

I guess the question is more what a library is supposed to accomplish... Is it literally just a storehouse for piles of bound paper? Is that all we're worried about - just collecting a bunch of paper together?

To me, it seems, the value was always the information that was stored in the paper.

Some of it is factual information, which makes the library a good place to do research. You had access to all sorts of journals and periodicals from all over the country... Big ol' encyclopedias and things like that... Various scholarly works on different subjects...

But some of that information is not factual - it's fiction. Which is still important because it's part of our collective culture. Shakespeare has become so deeply embedded in our cultural psyche that it's hard to imagine what the would would be like if he'd never written anything. And while Twilight certainly isn't quality literature, it does give you an idea of what the cultural landscape looks like these days.

And if we're worried about preserving both factual material and material with cultural importance... Then we need to expand our libraries beyond pieces of paper. Music, movies, and even games are of cultural importance.

Good idea, but... (2, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655510)

All the popular titles use some kind of DRM. Did they keep this in mind? What will the publishers say? Are there for rent versions or will the librarians just have to go and unlock the games through dozens of different hotlines or however this works?

Or are they only talking about console games?

Sounds like a good idea to me (1)

Pazy (1169639) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655512)

Im all for this idea, hopefully it will go some way towards people seeing Video Games as another medium the same as a film or book. It was only a few years ago that my local library started lending out DVDs (with a price but one much smaller than a rental store) and I know that at least in the beginning it brought in some young people to rent DVD's and it gave a small trickle over to the lending of books.

Librarian Tactics (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655514)

Ooh, Super Mario Brothers! Well, if you like this, you may also like:

The Encyclopaedia of Plumbing
The Mushroom Index: food, fun, or poison?
Carnivorous plants of South America
The Princess Diaries

Re:Librarian Tactics (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655910)

I hope they'll have better recommendations than the one the company I rent films from uses for their online streaming section. At the end of pretty much everything I've watched, it's told me that Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption are at the top of the 'more like this' list. I've never seen a film that is like both of those, and I'm not certain that I'd want to.

Re:Librarian Tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655912)

that made me think of something i hadnt seen in years. i think the first time i saw this photoshop i about died.

it's sfw.

original:

http://images.somethingawful.com/mjolnir/images/cg05252004/Djarum.jpg [somethingawful.com]

http://images.somethingawful.com/mjolnir/images/cg05252004/Almost-Smart.jpg [somethingawful.com]

It's amazing how many people remember that powerup, it was only in 1 single level of 1 single Mario game.



Ontopic: I can't help but think that adding video games to libraries is a bad idea. Libraries are sort of one of those last refuge places in the USA to find calm, mindful, mentally mature people (at least, the ones I've been to). It's sort of like offering low alcohol content beers at AA meetings to soften up potential newcomers to the idea of coming on in. Or like the myriad of churches trying to look more accepting by striking compromises with the world around them to bring in more people, etc.

I remember being shocked one day when a friend of mine called me up and said, 'Hey, I'm going to the Library, want to come?'---- this was a little shocking to me-- first, because I thought he was talking about a local bar called "The Library", and it was noon, but then second, I was almost entirely nonplussed when I realized he was talking about the actual Library. So... I hadn't been in town for awhile and things had changed, turns out, they have all sorts of trashy DVDs (not explicit adult stuff, but like... trashy action movies like 'crank'.. Ugh).... So.... That's why he was going.

Re:Librarian Tactics (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655926)

Obviously you remember the days of HotBot web search.

Wait what, this is new? (2, Informative)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655526)

Back in the early '90ies, I got loads of games from the public city library in my home town. It was especially great for adventure games, because they have a limited replay value anyway. And my library got all the CD-ROM versions, which meant you could get full speech on games like Day of the Tentacle, which was awesome of course.

Re:Wait what, this is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655718)

Back in the early '90ies, I got loads of games from the public city library in my home town.

And back in the early 90s public, city library CDs were the main venue for spreading malware. No CDs from a public library touched the lip of my pc's drive.

Re:Wait what, this is new? (1)

dunezone (899268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655766)

Yeah because an official CD from Maxis or Sierra was somehow manipulated after final pressing to have malware on it.

Malware was spread during the 80s and 90s with floppies as it was easier to manipulate the data once it left the manufacturer.

Most libraries only had CD versions of software because it couldn't be tampered with or accidentally erased or over written as easily.

This is News? (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655560)

I've seen video games in my library for a couple years now.

We have video games in our libraries (5, Interesting)

C4st13v4n14 (1001121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655586)

I'm an American living in Norway and I was shocked to find that my local library has a large collection of Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 games that can be checked out. They also have a sound-proof room where you can play Guitar Hero and Rock Band, as well as a large collection of contemporary music CDs with everything from Metallica to obscure Norwegian music. You can listen to them there or check them out. My wife checked one out and lost it, only finding it several months later and they didn't even make her pay a fee or a late charge. I've been here a while now but back when I had just moved here and was learning Norwegian, I used to go in and use the computers. They had children's games with everything from Oregon Trail-type clones to Harry Potter. It helped me learn vocabulary that wasn't in my books and get a working knowledge of the language, not just the grammatically-correct style that almost no one speaks. One day, a new bitchy librarian decided that I wasn't allowed to use the ones with the games on them because they're "for children", even though there are ten of those PCs and hardly any children in there. Norwegians can be like that, but I digress. I never counted how many PCs they actually have in there, but there are at least 30 for surfing the web, research, or looking through the library's online catalogues. Interestingly, the ones for games run Windows and all the others run Linux.

Re:We have video games in our libraries (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655658)

I'm an American living in Finland and am similarly amazed at what is on offer in the public libraries here. Heck, here the library even has real musical instruments you can reserve. Very rarely do I not find a CD I'm looking for in the libraries here, and I like some pretty obscure music. Yes, Nordic libraries are just one of the reasons I've decided I'm here to stay.

Social-Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655884)

Of course, we are social-democrats (socialists) :) Oh, and thanks for not calling Finland a Scandinavian nation, they're a Nordic nation like you said. So many people don't understand that Scandinavia is only Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Finland does not share the ethnic, linguistic or cultural history of Scandinavia. They do however share the same modern political culture.

Re:Social-Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656246)

Finland does not share the ethnic, linguistic or cultural history of Scandinavia

That last bit might be a bit overreaching statement considering that Finland was under Swedish rule for ~600 years... Are the cultures same? no. Are they shared in many ways? Definitely.

Re:We have video games in our libraries (1)

eht (8912) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656028)

I am an American Living in America, and my local libraries have video games, mostly Wii, PS3, Xbox360, I have not seen any computer video games. By local libraries I mean 37 in my county alone with the ability to get materials from any library in northern NJ.

http://mainlib.org/ [mainlib.org]

Re:We have video games in our libraries (1)

disi (1465053) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656130)

Maybe it matters :) I am a German living in the UK.

We have internet, games, videos and music in the library. This is a small town of about 30k citizens and you pay no fee to rent a book etc. The printouts are rather expensive with 10p per page.

When I came over from Dublin/Ireland, I used the free internet to look for a room. In Dublin I dropped about 50 DVDs and 50 books at the library before I moved.

Re:Most morris county has no games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656224)

First, most libraries in Morris County do not have video games. I have been to alot of them like Wharton, Boonton, Rockaway, Morristown, Mt. Olive, Dover, Roxbury, etc., and I do not recall seeing video games at any of them. Of course I do not bother to look for non-book materials since I cannot loan them out except in my home town of Dover and I am not a gamer.

Re:We have video games in our libraries (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656054)

Do the Norwegian libraries offer porno DVDs?

Re:We have video games in our libraries (2, Insightful)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656250)

If they did, you would be disappointed. Norwegian law for porn is similar to that of Japan (well, you can show naughty bits on their own, but penetration is censored). We used to skip the border to Sweden to get the dirty stuff (porn, spirits and bacon). Now the former is available online for free..so..

Re:We have video games in our libraries (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656306)

One day, a new bitchy librarian decided that I wasn't allowed to use the ones with the games on them because they're "for children", even though there are ten of those PCs and hardly any children in there. Norwegians can be like that, but I digress

Norwegian bureaucracy, yes I am all too familiar with it, being a Norwegian raised abroad. It doesn't matter if there are no children using the children's computers! RULES IS RULES!

The Netherlands (2, Interesting)

Aggrajag (716041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655594)

I lived in the Netherlands about ten years ago and my local library had an extensive collection of music and movies (VHS and DVD). In addition they had quite a lot of older PC-games. The best part was their kick ass English book section with a lot of sci-fi and fantasy.

Call me conservative (2, Interesting)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655610)

But I hate the idea of tax money going to frivolous things like this. Personally, I can't stand that my library lends DVDs and music too. Public libraries, in my opinion, should solely be about self-improvement and betterment. Books, movies, and music should be classics, self-help, technical, etc. It doesn't make a lot of sense to have the library just be a surrogate Blockbuster/Netflix/Gamefly.

Re:Call me conservative (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655686)

Libraries are there to upkeep culture and the arts, and modern media and video games are very much a part of our culture. Just because something isn't "Moby Dick" doesn't mean it isn't poignant or worthwhile.

Re:Call me conservative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655720)

But I hate the idea of tax money going to frivolous things like this. Personally, I can't stand that my library lends DVDs and music too. Public libraries, in my opinion, should solely be about self-improvement and betterment. Books, movies, and music should be classics, self-help, technical, etc. It doesn't make a lot of sense to have the library just be a surrogate Blockbuster/Netflix/Gamefly.

Which would exclude pretty much every crime, romance, drama... all fiction books, right?

They're *public* libraries (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655730)

Funded by your taxes and responsive to the wants and needs of the community. If you don't like the mix of resources available, join the board of your public library and advocate for change.

I'd say anything that gets kids in the door of a library is a good thing. Who knows what they'll pick up to read while waiting for a turn at the video game?

Re:They're *public* libraries (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655880)

Kids today can read?

Maybe I was wrong and they're just ignoring the sign on my lawn that says no trespassing. On the plus side it gives me an excuse to yell, "Hay you kids!!! Get the hell off my lawn!!". Which oddly enough I wished I had an excuse to use when I was in high school. Huh, be careful what you wish for.

Re:They're *public* libraries (1)

Things_falling_apart (856111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656182)

Of course kids today can read. How else do they search the Internet for "teh warez" they feel so entitled to have for free?

Re:Call me conservative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655752)

Haha, self-help scams. Libraries should not lend any credibility to those.

Re:Call me conservative (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655792)

Define classic. Start there. I think RAH's works are for the most part classic. Same with Vachss. I also like some other less known writers, and think their works fall into classics. It is not conservative to want to set the library up with only the items you think are correct. You are trying to shoot your personal opinions into what conservatism is. Conservative would be opposed to public funding of a library, but even then it would be a stretch. The opposition to using public money for something that is broadly considered for the public good is more in line with libertarianism.

Re:Call me conservative (5, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655838)

We won't call you "conservative," we'll just call you short-sighted and ill-informed.

The "classics" for which you pine were once upon a time a previous generation's pop culture, in very many cases. And I wish I had a dollar for every kid who picked up a copy of Bullfinch or Hamilton after playing a game in the "God of War" series -- or watching a season of Xena, for that matter.

Culture is one long conversation, the present building upon the past, creating the shapers of its future. Guys like you who want to pick, choose, and control aren't enabling Art, you're obstructing her.

Re:Call me conservative (1)

distantbody (852269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656370)

+1

Call me conservative also, but I think libraries should be places of knowledge. I think the intentions of the Toronto libraries are good, but 'getting kids through the door with video games' is IMO naive -- as in it doesn't work like that (from my experience).

When pop CDs/DVDs were introduced at my local library, it slowly turned into a 'hang-out' space where chatter was ok because the librarians didn't want to confront or play the 'stickler librarian' role. Did it achieve the goal of getting non-readers into the library? Yes. Did they read anything? Nope. Did it make the library less conducive place for reading and studying? Yes.

One thing that this idea reminds me of is 'kids sections' in libraries. The rationale is 'get 'em while there young', with colorful kids motifs and toys, the adults can put up with some squealing and crying in the library... The reality is that noisy uncontrolled kids shouldn't be anywhere near a library, they can get their Barney fix elsewhere.

I hold the belief that books are the best communicators of information, as it requires active concentration and everything has to at least get parsed. I think a library should be about knowledge (incl. internet), and particular the best knowledge source the book, and since it is a place for reading, it goes hand in hand with reading for enjoyment, and therefore all books.

Don't degrade the libraries, instead closely monitor children's reading in school so that any reading problems are caught early so that they can have the enjoyment and appreciation of books. But I guess that is more resource intensive, longer-term commitment to individuals and probably requires parental involvement.

What about the other kids? (1)

ionymous (1216224) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655612)

The kids who are already at the library reading books are suddenly going to be tempted by the newly available video games.

And the statement: "you can be darn sure that out librarians will be hard at work to introduce them to everything else the library can offer" Umm.. yeah right. Because kids who come to the library for free video games to make copies of really give a sh!t what a library has to say to them.

Re:What about the other kids? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655964)

My mother used to teach children from a poor area, and you might be surprised at how few books many of the parents had. A lot of children grow up in houses which don't have any books on display and easy to read - or any books at all. If they're in the library for a computer game, they're near books. If they're checking out a game that has some tie-in novels, the librarian can suggest that they might like to read the book as well. I can see this working especially well for games based on books, such as the Tom Clancy series (although not so much for Dante's Inferno). Once they're in the habit of reading and are members of the library, it seems likely that they'll start browsing some of the other shelves.

Following the path of US libraries (1)

Craig Maloney (1104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655616)

Our local library does this. they have XBox 360, PS3, and Wii games available (I think PS2 as well, but not sure). It's definitely a great way to get folks into the library and see what else might be in there.

False, getting them in will not make them readers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656358)

Most people just come into libraries to use the internet because they do not have it at home(or other reasons, maybe they are in the neighborhood, etc.) and to rent DVDs, etc.
Sadly the fewest amount of patrons at contemporary American libraries come to read. Coming into the library for another reason besides books will not convert someone into a reader which requires a different habit, pace and orientation than watching a movie or viewing Youtube.

I thought this already would happen (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655626)

My libraries has popular videos. Frugal people go there and check out videos. There is no real educational purpose to it. I think it is ok because there part of what a library does is provide a cultural reference, which does include the popular tv shows and movies. Die Hard, for instance, provides a unique cultural path of America over the past 20 years or so.

Video games now serve that function and having them in libraries is probably long overdue. The only issue I see is which console to support. Unlike videos, where any DVD player will do, the library might indirectly provide promotion for a console. Also, as has been mentioned, video game makes are becoming increasingly rude about the second hand market.

Settle the financial crisis before free games (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655628)

Every year Toronto's debt goes up [toronto.ca] , and every year Toronto property taxes go up, and every few years Toronto's unions go on strike to have their already large salaries increased. Maybe once the city can control its finances and its unions, then it can think about buying video games to attract children to the Library.

Re:Settle the financial crisis before free games (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655950)

If you use that argument, most of the world's countries could barely renew any funding or start any new projects at all.

Most budgets are a bit more complex than that. But you can't really complain about debt going up, then also about taxes going up. If the debt it is to be paid, the money has to come from somewhere.

Re:Settle the financial crisis before free games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656278)

If you use that argument... But you can't really complain about debt going up, then also about taxes going up. If the debt it is to be paid, the money has to come from somewhere.

As a person who has lived in Toronto for over 40 years, I don't just make stuff up out of ignorance or political naivety.

The City of Toronto has had DECADES to reduce their debt (as opposed to have it increased) instead of letting unions win strikes (and the unions always seem to go on strike during recessions when everybody else is loosing their jobs). Fact is the city always finds money (from the taxpayer) for inefficient mega-projects with little return on value. In fact the city wanted to close down local high school swimming pools to build a mega Olympic sized pool to attract the Olympics and its fanaticism and sleaze.

There are lot's and lot's of examples of money wasted just to boost the ego's of the political pundits pet projects. We've got buses that are falling into disrepair while the city wants to fund billion dollar subway lines. Yeah I'm all for subways and attracting kids to libraries, and I'm also for fiscal responsibility. Fact is we don't NEED video games in the library, and I can bet that the children won't grow up losers or illiterate because they couldn't play video games for free (BTW the library has already been buying video games, DVDs, etc and so on for at least over a decade). I personally get most of my movies from the library instead of the rental shop.

Funny thing is, the Feds in Canada (under the Liberals) brought down the debt SIGNIFICANTLY while still funding projects. Similarly the Democrats under Clinton brought down their debt as well. Fiscal responsibility doesn't mean you have to raise taxes at the same time as you decide to spend more (which seems to be your tacit argument). I'd say we at least stop increasing our deficit before spending on frills we don't need. (And for people in-the-know, I am aware of the [financial] downloading problems that the Feds and the Provence have been doing to the City of Toronto, that is beside the point. We still have to look after ourselves).

Re:Settle the financial crisis before free games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655996)

My (not-so-humble) opinion: Investing in education (money spent on public libraries I would certainly classify as such) is ALWAYS a good idea. Having a well educated population might even help in the long run with problems controlling finances and so on. Especially when the sums involved are so small. $300k? Without this huge sum the budget would be balanced? When on the other hand it might pull in a handful of kids who would never otherwise have stepped into a library...

Typical government inefficiency (2, Funny)

JoeWalsh (32530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655706)

Why can't they just download them for free like everyone else?

Already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655734)

300,000$ is far from enough to build a complete collection. The biggest game library to exist is in the warez scene private topsites, if the FBI could simply stop destroying them and use them for culture instead.

An even better idea. (1)

lewko (195646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655738)

Why don't they just spend a couple o' grand on porno.

I remember my formative years spent in the school library, searching the dictionary for all the rude words. While I was there, I noticed some other books as well.

I suspect that part of the reason American kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655918)

... do so bad in school and are getting so fat is they are spending their time play video games. The time they might be exercising and reading. I expect that it also is rewiring the way their minds work, but I have no proof of this.

Of course, it will prepare them for a future as drone pilots in the Air Force.

Logic fails (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655976)

You could convert a library into a cybercafe or a disco, and that may atract more/different type of people. But thats not really atracting more people to a library, more like atracting people to a cybercafe/disco that use to be a library.

The idea sould be make the library more interesting, that could be adding a cybercafe to it, anything really, but thats that "fit" the existing things, so the core of the experience is not damaged.

If you want to make a romantic sci-fi movie, your first step can't be to drop the romantic and science fiction part of it. There are parts of things that are esential to the experience, you sould never make concesions on core values, because the result will not be great. A Disco or a cybercafe will not make concesions, or only where it not affect the core experience, as a result most Disco or Cybercafes are great.

Almost a good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656040)

It would be a good idea if the games weren't going to be out of date almost as soon as they're bought. What good is a huge collection of outdated games?

Re:Almost a good idea. (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656200)

It would be a good idea if the games weren't going to be out of date almost as soon as they're bought. What good is a huge collection of outdated games?

Games don't lose their value over time. Just like movies and books, a great game is simply a great game, even when it has been out for decades.

Books are cheap though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656078)

I think I went to the local library once... maybe twice in my life. When I was younger my school library had a good selection of fantasy or sci-fi books to read. Not large but it was good. Course I never read much recreationaly until high school/college. At that point though most books I wanted to read were incredibly cheap. Hell most paperbacks cost less then $8. At college that's, what? Deciding to not go for that late nite pizza/beer/McDonald's run once more that week? My only expensive books were D&D books. So I never much understood the point of having to goto the library when I can goto the local bookstore and get one I know will be brand new for cheap and I can expand my own personal library! I personally like the thought of when the wife and I get a house that we'll need to designate a room as the library with our large book collection. How many homes have a library these days? Even if it's not large it still feels classy =)

did anyone ask? (1)

tabooli (927310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656090)

I had a quick look at this and other articles and the TPL website and found no mention of how they arrived at this decision. Did they ask young people what they wanted? Formally? Informally?

Plenty of freebies out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656114)

Why not set up a depository for used games? I'm sure there are tons out there that people would be happy to contribute.

Certainly worked for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656256)

Our library had a Technology section, with a gaming section in there with a variety of games.
It made it a pretty decent hangout spot with friends, especially at lunch times in school, and the meals at the cafeteria were pretty great too.
It was decently popular with around 10-30% of the people around lunch times usually ending up there hanging out at the desks or on the computers.
There was also a lot of courses and groups run there as well.
But the school recently (several years back) closed, which actually shared the same building with the library.
Bad times.

Personal experiences follows, not that important.
Mainholm Academy was a fantastic place, it used to be pretty crap at first, but as my 6 years there passed, every year got better. (not personally, the school in general)
Our year and the year above eventually started a lot of after school courses as well, and eventually led to it becoming quite a popular thing.
Then stupid financial decisions and the discovery of asbestos and potentially damaged / inefficient pipes led to it being closed entirely.
Article [tes.co.uk] about the aftermath caused by the pupils being split around all the other schools if anyone is interested.
Think that was 3-4 years after i left.
It is never a good thing when a school closes.

Books are So Last Century (1)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656286)

Not really. One of the positive things to come out of my recent stint of unemployment was rediscovering city and community college libraries. I used to just pick books off of Amazon or Half Price books. Now my new gig is within walking distance of the main city library, which is awesome. Some of the smaller regional libraries are pretty much ruined by all the people that come in to use the computers. Not only do they leave their cell phones on, but have no problem having a loud conversation while others are trying to read. I don't really need to know about your pedicure appointment while I'm trying to get my Asimov fix.

Not a new concept. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656394)

The public library in Columbus, Mississippi already does this. There's even a "Teen Room" with systems available to play.

NYC libraries have them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656434)

Queens Library [queenslibrary.org] in New York City carries video games for all the currently supported video game consoles. At first, I was skeptical of libraries carrying video games, but then I figured they already loan audio CDs, video DVDs and have loaned computer software (including games) for years. As for it being a waste of public funds, just because I might now borrow these games, doesn't mean that other people won't. The library can also reap more funds in late fees. And besides, public libraries carry all kinds of things that I have no interest in borrowing - like the "Twilight" books.

Regarding games bringing more kids into the library, it seems to work. Whenever I go to the library, lots of kids are there playing awful Flash-based web browser games, right under signs that say they're not supposed to be playing games on these computers.
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