Gaming at the Library

If you thought that the library was only for reading and borrowing books, then you are wrong. Many libraries have a gaming corner where people can spend some relaxed time playing. This is nothing new, though. This tradition goes back to the 1850s.

In the mid-nineteenth century in Great Britain, people used to work for many hours. Then they used to spend their leisure time playing and gambling in libraries and other public houses. There were billiard and game rooms in the library for people’s recreation.

However, in the U.S., the idea of using the library as a recreation center was controversial. Still, in some U.S libraries, there were game rooms. For example, the Mechanics’ Institute Library in San Francisco had a chess room. This chess room has become the home of the oldest chess club in the U.S.

The public libraries become a puzzle center during the Great Depression. During this time, people used to solve challenging puzzles and compete with each other with the help of the library resources. Old Gold cigarettes were used to sponsor these contests, and the winners used to get millions of dollars as prize money.

After the Great Depression, kids started stealing toys from the stores as their parents didn’t buy for them. So, a store manager suggested the concept of a toy library from where the kids could borrow toys. This service became part of the public libraries.

In the mid-twentieth century, the libraries had games for children. There were special summer programs as well. During the 1970s and 80s, video games were more prominent in libraries. Now you may find libraries allowing people to gamble online in sites like

As playing games or gambling is an interesting activity, people may also be curious to learn more about the games and look for books about it in the library. This way they will develop the habit of reading.