I’m taking a course titled Collection Development (SP19IS508AO) as part of my Master of Science in Library and Information Science program this semester. Our instructor had us write up introduction posts the first week of class and then from those posts she made a topic list with some of the common hobbies we all mentioned. We all had to opt-in to a topic without knowing the reason (and each topic had an unknown limited number of spots) and once we’d all chosen, she told us that we have to develop a collection of 20 items for chosen topic. We have to bring our list to class and defend it – explain why we chose the 20 things on our list instead of any other options. “Board games” was on the topic list and luckily I was able to select it before the option was gone. And we are not allowed to collaborate with the other folks who have the same topic.
Here’s the thing: I cannot just make a list of my 20 favorite board games and call it a day. In fact, I’ll likely need to include some games that I personally would not choose to play. This has to be a curated collection for a public library. A library that has patrons from all walks of life coming through its doors to check out various things for education and entertainment. Patrons who will have varied levels of exposure to and experience with board games. Some folks will know exactly what it means if a game is described as “a medium-weight game with drafting, set collection, and asymmetrical player powers” and some folks will read that description and it might as well be Greek. (For more on jargon in the board game industry/hobby, check out this post by Meeple Like Us.)
I need games that span a variety of themes, mechanisms, and complexities. I want games that will generate enough interest that I’ll get a budget increase to add more games to the collection – so I can listen to patron requests for games.
I need some kid-friendly games that a parent with a 5-year-old could bring home and play with their kid. Something that will engage the 5-year-old and the parent.
I need some classics and some mainstream games that are recognizable by folks who remember the occasional family game night as a kid and might use that nostalgia as a road into the modern hobby OR they recall seeing the game at Target and want to try it before they buy it.
And I need some designer hobby games that will appeal to someone who might have a group that they play with at a friend’s house or who might be part of a local board game Meetup or GameFor group but are looking for a new space for play.
Read more and see the list here: Twenty Essential Board Games for a Public Collection – To Play Is Human