Taylor Corley, Reporter
Eric Crum, Editor
Although it has been available for over six months, many students may not be aware of one of the newest technological editions on Berry College’s campus: video games in the library.
The Berry College Memorial Library introduced a new feature this fall allowing students and faculty to check out video games and consoles just as they would books.
“One of our missions is, in addition to being the academic library for everyone, students and faculty alike, we also try to act as the public library,” Director Sherre Harrington said. “We want to offer recreational materials that students can use in their spare time, and give them the opportunity to either relax or engage with information and finding resources. Video games fall along that line.”
The Memorial Library is one of several other campus libraries nationwide that have adopted this new method of offering students easy access to recreational technology. Studies show that whether it be for research purposes or just walking through the doors, students’ GPAs will increase after more interaction in a library. Taking this into account, the Memorial Library staff constantly implements ways to encourage student involvement.
“We wanted to introduce the video game feature to hopefully draw in students who otherwise might not come into the library,” Harrington said.
Library staff member Dylan Moran proposed the idea to his colleagues after collecting data from the University of North Texas, another academic library that carries a large selection of video games for students to rent.
“We brainstormed and everyone was on board with it,” Moran said. “We got the support and data then went for it.”
Along with catching students’ attention and helping them relax, the addition of video games is the library’s way of keeping up with the times.
“To find out more about this project, I read about evolution of libraries in terms of what things they offer for checkout,” Moran said. “There are libraries that even rent out power tools. But video games support creative design for anyone interested in graphic arts, and there is data out there that proves video games promote problem solving and reduce stress.”
Students are already taking advantage of the library’s gaming selection.
“I’m really excited that the library now offers video games for us to check out,” freshman Will Bannister said. “I was walking through the aisles while taking a study break and I found the video games behind the movies. I ended up renting ‘Overwatch’ for my roommate and I to play on his Xbox.”
In order to achieve widespread influence, Berry’s library has made sure everyone has access to the benefits offered with making video games available to rent.
“We felt like it was important to buy and offer the hardware used to play the games as well for a variety of reasons,” Harrington said. “The most important reason being that not everyone has the money to buy an Xbox or PlayStation, but we want to make sure they still have an opportunity to use the collection.”
There are no fees associated with renting a game or console from the library. However, rather than allowing students four weeks to hold onto a video game as they can with books, games have a two week rental limit.
“Students are allowed to check out video games for two weeks on the idea that there are fewer games than there are books so we want students to share them a little bit more,” Harrington said. “If you check out a book for a paper, it is rare that someone else is going to be working on the same topic so students can keep books longer, but video games are a little different.”
The gaming selection is available online for browsing. The current selection is limited to a little over 40 games for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 only, but the library hopes to introduce Nintendo Switch games by next fall.