Your Name and Title: Edward Mayberry
Library, School, or Organization Name: San Antonio Public Library
Co-Presenter Name(s): Lorin Flores, Yanel Cepeda
Area of the World from Which You Will Present: San Antonio, Texas
Language in Which You Will Present: English
Target Audience(s): Adults
Short Session Description (one line): Members of San Antonio Public Library’s eSports and Adult services Gaming Committees describe ongoing efforts to connect and engage with community members during the pandemic year and beyond.
Full Session Description (as long as you would like):
Stephanie Vazquez and Cassandra Garza submitted the idea to create an eSports committee in 2019 to capitalize on the growing popularity of Esports and video game playing for adults. Video gaming is an underserved library program area especially for adults considering the average age for gamers is 18-35 years old. The idea was approved and the eSports committee was created. Mario Day 2020, was the committee’s first major project. The Mario Day event is a fan inspired day of celebration for Nintendo’s Mario character. The library event included a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Tournament on Nintendo Switch where contestants could only compete as the Mario character. There were other activities such as a photo booth, button making and Virtual Reality with the Oculus Rift. The program was a huge success and exceeded the committee’s expectations. Then the COVID pandemic caused a shut down. During the closure library staff learned how to use online gaming to provide virtual programs that helped us engage our patrons. The group collaborated with St. Mary’s University and Texas A&M San Antonio eSports teams, Geekdom, Port San Antonio, Esports in Education Foundation, Shenanigans and Playlive Nation gaming lounges and finally the Greater Gaming Society of San Antonio to offer an eSports panel discussion series displayed on YouTube The esports panelist were all local esports figures and gamers in San Antonio and they focused on different esports topics including the past and future of esports, esports in education, and diversity in esports. The committee held special virtual gaming events utilizing Animal Crossings, Mario Kart and Smash Bros. National Video Gaming Day 2020 was the committee’s next major event. The event was virtual and consisted of online gaming and arts and crafts. Mario Day 2021 was held and virtually had many activities. The activities included a cosplay contest, Smash Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 tournament.
Adult Services Program Gaming Group members Lorin and Yanel talk about their ongoing series “Lorin & Yanel Play a Game,” a reader’s advisory-type of stream focusing on free Steam and independent games.This streamed program and other Adult Services Program Gaming group initiatives are intended to engage with adult gamers. The committee was formed during the early days of the pandemic to extend programs during the library’s physical building closure. Streaming has been described as an emerging digital literacy competency, with transferable skill sets appropriate for employment, education, and beyond. Goals include greater awareness of the library and community engagement. In addition, an upcoming collaboration with Ed Mayberry of the eSports committee to develop a League of Legends stream series and a transition from streaming on Youtube to Twitch platforms will also be discussed.
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