By: Dionne Smith, Community Editor
Glickman Library plans to lure in more students and offer some fun with board game nights on Mondays. The month-long pilot, beginning Oct. 23, will start with board game nights every Monday with raffles, food, and plenty of games to play. Osher Map Library will also be contributing with a night of playing antique board games that Osher has.
The Library, has recently been going through different changes in order to gain more regular traffic and to appeal to more students. The new Starbucks in Glickman was the library’s latest upgrade, and now they look to improve upon their upgrades with board games. The Library purchased ten board games that will be on reserve for students to book a room and play board games in.
These board games are not only for the students, but staff and faculty as well. According to Emily Bernhard, the coordinator for the Center for Technology Enhanced Learning, there are people who work in both Glickman and Osher that enjoy playing games, as well as gaming experts that work at USM. Mary Holt, the admin for the Center of Collaboration and Development, and a library assistance in Special Collections is one of the staff in Glickman that is a gamer. “If you’re a student that commutes and you have a couple hours between classes, [it] might be nice to have something to do.” Holt said. Holt also expressed that she hoped the games would help the staff in the library communicate with each other more often. People are encouraged to bring their own board games if they want to, and to invite their friends that don’t attend USM.
The hope for this pilot is to create a stronger sense of community on campus by allowing students to enjoy some time together playing games. Especially on the Portland campus where it is harder to take the time to build friendships because people usually go to class then go home, or they stay to themselves. This is also a great alternative for students, faculty and staff who who don’t want to spend any money in Portland eating out or drinking. The game nights will also help bring balance to both campuses. Usually Gorham has different types of nights for games, decorating, and holiday related events. With the option to play board games for free in Glickman, this gives students more of an incentive to stay on campus when they have some free time.
Osher Map Library wishes to aid Glickman in this gaming pilot, and are offering a night for students to play a selection of the antique board games about geography that Osher has, which is approximately 140 board games. Ian Fowler, the director of Osher Map Library stated that the board games thus far have been used in classes in a much smaller capacity, and the game night that Osher will be hosting with their collection of games will be the first time that the games will be out for public play in a large scale. Fowler also says that there will be a theme between all the board games that are brought out. “It’s something that we wanted to do for a while so it just so happens to coincide with Glickman games night.” Fowler said. Along with a fun selection of games, the antique board games will serve as an interesting history lesson for the people who will be playing it. The games themselves have interesting backgrounds that tie into the times that they were made and what was going on.
If the pilot goes well, the Glickman would be happy to take suggestions on games that the students want, and continue to keep the board games on reserve for students. It is also possible that there could be video games as well as board games if the students ask for it. “The hope is the Monday nights become game nights at Glickman,” Bernhard said.