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Mville Library hosts first open game day for teens

Nicholas Alonso, right, kicks out the jams during the Marysville Librarys Game Day on Oct. 27. He was competing with Titus -
Nicholas Alonso, right, kicks out the jams during the Marysville Librarys Game Day on Oct. 27. He was competing with Titus
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MARYSVILLE The days of the old librarian with her hair in a bun, shushing patrons is over. Nowadays she is cranking up the volume.
At least during the Marysville Public Librarys Game Day for Teens Oct. 27, where the idea was to make some noise a little maybe while showing kids the resources a modern library has to offer.
A large meeting room at the Grove Street buildings entrance was the prime teen hangout, with a projection screen for video games and tables ringing the room for bouts of favorites like Battleship, Clue and other board games. Popcorn, drinks and snacks were available and there was even a G-rated version of Twister in the middle of the room.
The Saturday afternoon event was one of many new programs at the library to give teens safe choices for fun activities. The room was filled with loud music as teens faced off in head-to-head competitions of favorite computer games such as Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution.
Guitar Hero is a video game where players use a small plastic guitar to trade riffs with each other, scoring points by staying in time with the music and hitting their Qs on the fret board. These are modern tunes; rock, metal, just what teens like.
This isnt your fathers library, at least not today.
Brandon Maggiore was the champion guitar slinger, beating a slew of competitors as he worked his way up the brackets. A tall junior at the Teaching and Technical Academy at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, he thought the game day was just what the library needed to entice kids his age to visit and stay a while.
I think this is a great thing, Maggiore said while his sister Autumn played along to Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple. He could tell the library was reaching out to teens, especially those who might not be bookworms. I think they are trying.
That was just fine with his mother Nancy, who had a trio of teens and pre-teens at the free event. While her nine-year-old daughter would be into stuff like the board games anyways, Maggiore said most teens dont have any other places to hangout in town except for the Skate Park. Surveying the room of about 50 kids, she noted that many of them wouldnt be socializing together in school. Here the cliques were broken down and a diverse group of teens were interacting with each other, and were mixing well, she said.
This is great, Maggiore said. These kids really seem to care.
For a first-time event the teen game day worked really well, according to Laura Tillman, teen librarian at the Marysville branch of the Sno-Isle Library System. The library has hosted other events targeted at different age groups, but this was the first open drop-in event, Tillman said.
In the future it will be a regular thing, and next March the library will host a gaming tournament with help from an expert from the Ann Arbor libraries. Until December the library will host free movies on Mondays for teens.
Maggiore said she would like to see a teen day at least three times a month, and wondered if sponsors could be found to help stage the game days.
If they did something like this they wouldnt have time to get into trouble, Maggiore said.
The library Monday Movie series runs Nov. 5, Nov. 19, Dec. 3 and Dec. 17. The movies start at 3 p.m and are free. For more information see the Web site at www.sno-isle.org.

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