Discussion What's your local library like? They got any video games?

big lantern ghost

100% airhead
Dim, dusty book stacks. A disapproving librarian shushing anyone above a few decibels. Some libraries are still cut from that antiquated cloth, of course. Many have transcended that definition and become something else entirely! At my local library, for example, you can use a bank of 3D printers for free. You can take out passes to go to a local museum or provincial campground. You can book time in a snazzy recording studio. You can rent a pair of ice skates. Nobody will shush you (within reason).

And…you can get video games there!

Of course, when using a public service used by many others, you may not be able to grab a popular game any time soon. My library still has 30 holds on their copy of Breath of the Wild for Switch, for example. Luigi’s Mansion 3 had 70! More niche titles like 13 Sentinels or Danganronpa weren’t in the system at all. But Astral Chain, a game I have always been interested in but on the fence about, was ready to take out right away — and it was pretty good! Out of curiousity I searched a few big/AAA titles that came to mind and games like Cyberpunk 2077, The Last of Us Part II, The Quarry, and Ghostwire: Tokyo were all in stock. Others, like Elden Ring, had just 5 holds between multiple copies.

If your library doesn’t have a game collection yet, they likely have a suggestion form. Those suggestions are taken into consideration — usually there is a bit of budget allocated precisely for that! If you ask for a game — or book, or magazine, or whatever else — chances are pretty good they’ll get it for you.

So! Do you make use of this public service? What’s your town’s library like?
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The one closest to my house doesn't have games. I used to volunteer at it, it's mostly occupied by kids ages 7-13 and the elderly. It's a friendly place though and they have a nice selection of books and older DVDs. They also have a lot of programs for kids, teaching them about reading and computers.

That being said I live in a big city so there are a lot of libraries here. About eight years ago I went to one that carried games to meet up with a college tutor. Their game selection was surprisingly robust, they had stuff like Trauma Center and Elebits. I think they also had a room where kids (mostly middle schoolers) met up to play games.


Honestly I'm more than happy to make use of my local library now for games I want to try out first before I commit to dropping the full price amount, especially for games like Pokemon that haven't come down in price at all or had any sales. Helped me realize that A) Pokemon Shield was hated on needlessly, B) Brilliant Diamond definitely feels too rough around the edges for me to enjoy, but at least the Grand Underground is cool, C) Got the bonus missions in Pokemon Legends Arceus by having save data for both games now on my Switch!

They seem to have a fair few games to choose from, and while much like your library some of the newer games have an endlessly long waitlist, the older games like Pokemon Shield or Brilliant Diamond I only had maybe 4 holds ahead of me so I wasn't waiting all that long.

Truthfully in hindsight, why the hell was I dropping $10 for a three day rental at Blockbuster when I could have been playing some of these games for free, for upwards of a week or two, if I had that little bit more patience?

Lord Azrael

The library by my parents' house is crazy. Got anything you could ever want. New games are there almost instantly. Got 3D printers, sewing machines, fishing rods, the works

Sailor Moon

Yeah ours has a small but nice selection of video games. It’s a nice place to go just in general.


My library is massive...but...lacks games!

It is really swell, though. They have a fantastic selection of books for my children and pretty much any reading materials I could ever want for myself. It also grants me access to Hoopla, which has a seemingly infinite number of comics and graphic novels I can download and read on my iPad whenever I want.


Piranha Plant
Lots of games (several hundred for Switch alone), but they're quite slow to add newly released titles.

Deleted member 2670

New library has some games but not a lot. Fantastic collection of graphic novels and films.

Old library was all time fucking legend. Easily 1000+ video games across 10 branches, every film, even had a motherfucking copy of Duncan The Wonder Dog. Had to move tho.....


I’m a librarian, so I can say with certainty if enough people request that your local library acquire video games for their collection, they will do so. I started a video game collection at my library and even for an extremely small, rural library the circulation was good on them. Mostly stuck to donations and thrift pickups for finding things, since new release games are so expensive and my budget was very tight.

Any big local library would be happy to buy new release games if they get requests though. Most of the time if a library doesn’t carry games it’s because the staff isn’t very familiar with games and unaware of the demand for them.


Fresh Eater
I popped into a library recently and saw a bunch of video games on the “online reserve come get it” shelf!! Including Lost Judgment which… good call whoever booked that out

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