We’ve asked libraries across Colorado to submit program they’ve run in the last year that they’re proud of and they want the rest of us to see and celebrate. Sharing stories in books is great… but what about our stories? The stories of the ways our libraries bring the community together, enrich the lives of our neighbors, and serve the people who live and work in our cities and towns.
Danielle Seltenright and Hannah Zwahlen, Senior Library Associates Young Adult Services at Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD), answered our call and we’re excited to let them tell you about their Life-Size Game Night: Intergenerational Edition in their own words.
Library Name: Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD)
City/ Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Program Name: Life-Size Game Night: Intergenerational Edition
Date/ Date Range of Program: June 23, 2023
Intended Audience: All ages, groups of friends, families, individuals
Life-size Game Night: Intergenerational Edition takes three classic board games (Candyland, Battleship, and Clue) and brings them to life. Participants played these three life-sized games with an added twist to either team up by generation or mix it up for an intergenerational advantage and play all together now!
The Cheyenne Mountain Library had a successful after-hours event complete with pizza and community. Other locations within the PPLD system held their events in community rooms or venue spaces, with different ways for patrons to engage.
Brief game descriptions:
- Life-size Candyland – Colored squares are placed throughout the library (or space) and folks travel through the candy lands and characters. Mostly printed paper material, plus some cardboard decorations, and inflatable dice
- Life-size Battleship – The most “things” are required for this one, photo backdrop stand, tarps with grid mapped out, cardboard ships, Velcro dots, megaphone, laminated strategy sheets
- Life-size Clue – 4 potential groups could be playing at the same time (by color). Colored squares to “move” from one room to the other, printouts of people/weapons/rooms on small cards just like the board game, envelopes for secrecy, slips of paper for people to mark off suspects, props for fun
Editor’s note: Game guides shared in PDF files at the end of this post.
How did you come up with the idea for this program?
The summer reading theme of “All Together Now” prompted a discussion among our teen staff about how to incorporate some of our most popular programs with various generations. One staff member brought up doing a family game night, but with all our life-size game options. Up to this point, we had been developing life-size games as a fun way for teens to get together and socialize while playing some classic games with a new twist. We made a Life-size Candyland, Life-size Battleship, and Life-size Clue. We decided to frame it as an opportunity for groups (families or otherwise) to either team up by generation, or to form a team of multiple generations to compete! This was a fun new way to use the same games with a larger/broader audience. This was a fun new way to use the same games with a larger/broader audience. Some locations used the opportunity to host an after-hours event for all ages, while others had the games set up in a Community Room/Venue space for a larger block of time for patrons to come in and enjoy at their leisure.
What partners (if any) did you work with in developing or implementing this program?
This program really relied on collaboration between service areas – at Cheyenne Mountain Library the Family and Children’s staff member, the Young Adult Staff member, and the Adult staff member were all an important part of running the program, and each took the lead on a different game. Collaboration, especially at the smaller branches with fewer staff, is essential to really bringing everything together.
What about this program did you find successful? How did you measure the success of this program?
Success was mostly measured informally by observing the patrons that attended and watching their engagement. This was a huge success at Cheyenne Mountain Library where we truly saw representation from all ages, groups of friends and families, and everyone having a great time.
Feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to share our Kit Guides with prep and instructions for each of the three life-sized games!
Danielle Seltenright and Hannah Zwahlen have permitted us to share their contact information so that anyone interested in reaching out to them about their program can do so. It is an incredibly generous offer of which you are invited to avail yourself if you’re inspired by their work and want to celebrate them or if you have questions about ways you can follow their lead.
To reach Danielle Seltenright, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources shared in this post include PDFs of game guides:
- Life Size Game Night – Overview
- Life Size Candy Land – Program Kit Guide
- Life-size Battleship – Kit Guide
- Life-size Clue – Kit Guide
Colorado State Library (and the readers of this point as well, no doubt) understands how time consuming, emotionally draining, costly (in so many ways), and challenging it can be to run a program or project. Sometimes they fail gloriously… sometimes they fail with barely a whisper. It can be hard to recover from that. You’ve worked so hard!… and it just didn’t work out. Be gentle with yourself. Self-reflect. Pick up the pieces. And then get to the next thing. It’ll be worth it.
For all those other times, be sure to celebrate. Brag about it! Feel good about yourself, the team that collaborated on your work, and the community members who participated with it. Celebrate your hard work and the value that you contribute to your community.
Tell us the story of your program just like this library did here. Submit your library’s program for a Program Spotlight featured here and shared as far as Colorado State Library news reaches.
- Program Spotlight: Library for All at Lakewood Branch, Jefferson County Library - February 21, 2024
- Program Spotlight: Pikes Peak Library District’s Life-sized Game Night (Intergenerational Edition) - January 23, 2024
- Program Spotlight: Summit County Libraries’ The Wine & True Crime Book Club - December 20, 2023