Looking to reach Digital Natives of all ages? We librarians have an ally in the upcoming Nintendo Wii.
Many libraries have achieved great success by piloting video game programs. (See "Building a Community Around Gaming" on the YALSA blog for just a few success stories.) Offering video games attracts hard-to-reach children and teens who might not otherwise visit your library. We (and Wii) can provide them with a safe, comfortable and neutral social space in which to gather.
Though other video game console options exist, the Nintendo Wii gives you the biggest bang for your buck. It's backward-compatible with all Nintendo Gamecube titles and controllers, so cheap, well-loved games are plentful. The innovative new controller (the Wii Remote) is easy for anyone to use since it's motion sensitive. It even comes bundled with "Wii Sports", so you can play it right out of the box.
How much money did you drop buying a computer and software for your children's department? Probably more than the $250 you'd spend picking up a Nintendo Wii for your library. That's well-worth the "wow" factor you'll earn from every kid that discovers your library has the latest, greatest next-generation video game console.
To reach those unreachable Digital Natives, the Nintendo Wii is just what the librarian ordered. Who's wii-th me?