Snohomish, Island county libraries host International Games Day

MUKILTEO — The first group of teens in the library’s multipurpose room selected Clue from a table loaded with board and card games.

“Can I join?” Nish Mohanakumar, 18, asked them. The Kamiak High School senior had been perusing board games alone but wandered over when the others claimed a table.

They didn’t hesitate. “Sure. What’s your name?”

While they reviewed instructions for the murder mystery-themed board game and debated who would be Miss Scarlet and who would be Professor Plum, another group of teens burst into the room, followed by a steady stream of students until about 25 of them were finding seats and picking out games. One table took Operation, another Jenga and a third claimed the popular party game Apples to Apples.

The teen game day at the Mukilteo Library on Friday was a warm-up for International Games Day on Saturday. Events are taking place at 12 libraries around Snohomish and Island counties.

This is the first year Sno-Isle has promoted the game day but some libraries participated last year, said Dawn Rutherford, teen services coordinator. Like the name suggests, International Games Day events are hosted Nov. 21around the world.

“We’ve offered a variety of gaming programs in the past, and we felt this was a great opportunity,” Rutherford said.

It’s a chance to bring people together over common interests, she said.

Librarians urge people to borrow a game or bring their favorite from home to share with friends. Some put together special activities, including a live Clue-like mystery in Darrington and a treasure hunt in Mukilteo.

Across Snohomish and Island counties, options include video game favorites such as Rock Band and classic tabletop games such as Monopoly or Scrabble. There also are more off-the-wall selections at some libraries, including the role-playing parody game Munchkin and the card-claiming competition Sleeping Queens.

“I think it’s a good time to get to know people,” said Stacy Jong, 14. She was one of the Clue players in Mukilteo and serves on the library’s teen advisory board.

It gets people to interact without pulling out their phones, added Nhi Vuong, another 14-year-old library volunteer.

The Mukilteo Library is full of teens after school most days, librarian Melleny Thomasson said. They walk from nearby Kamiak High School or Harbour Point Middle School. The game day gave them a chance to be a little noisier than usual and have fun with friends on a Friday evening.

Shelby Mathieu and Madison Hopfe, both 13, walk to the library from the middle school every Friday. It’s their place to hang out until their parents pick them up around 6 p.m. They thought the game day was a lot of fun. They usually are Monopoly fans but decided to share a seat at the Operation table.

While Friday was about teens, Saturday’s events are for all ages, Thomasson said.

Sno-Isle administrators learned about International Games Day from the American Library Association, said Leslie Moore, youth and outreach services manager.

“They encourage libraries from across the country and the world to participate,” she said.

The association mapped out more than 1,000 libraries who pledged to host International Games Day events this year. Locations include Santiago, Chile; Nairobi, Kenya; and the base library at Casey Station, Antarctica.

This is the eighth annual International Games Day, though it’s the first for Sno-Isle. The American Library Association works with Nordic Game Day and the Australian Library and Information Association to coordinate events each year.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

Game on

Some libraries, including Mukilteo, started Friday afternoon, but most of the celebrations are Saturday. Local Friends of the Library groups are providing snacks and prizes at many of the events. For detailed schedules and more information about the games at different libraries, go to sno-isle.org/events.

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