Games and Gaming

Come to the library to play all kinds of games with other gamers! Check out video games to play at home!

Circulating Video Games

The Library’s Video Games collection intends to meet the needs of the gamers in our community, while providing access to high quality educational and entertainment games. The Library loans games that can be played on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch platforms.

Video games, like other physical materials, can be borrowed for three weeks and renewed up to three times, as long as there are no pending requests for the game.

Video games in our Juvenile collection are rated E (Everyone), and E10+ (Everyone 10+) by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Ratings Board).

Video games in the Teen and Adult collection are rated T (Teen) and M (Mature 17+) by the ESRB.

Find out which games we own, where they are located, and place your hold today.

International Games Week

Sonoma County Library participates in the annual celebration of International Games Week, an international initiative supported by the American Library Association, the Australian Library and Information Association, Nordic Game Day and L’Associazione Italiana Biblioteche. Held in November of each year since 2012, this event has become a valuable way for libraries and their communities to join together and engage in play each year.

Why have games and gaming in Libraries?

Games are an increasingly important way people learn, interact, and have fun:

  • Games make learning fun by lowering the emotional stakes of failing, and players take risks and learn through trial and error.
  • Games have an infinite range of solutions, just like real life.
  • In the game world, players make their own discoveries and apply what they learn to new contexts.
  • When a player enters a game, they begin identifying core conditions and look for problems that must be addressed.
  • Games are a mode of active engagement. They encourage experimentation and risk-taking, and they view the process of solving a problem as important as finding the answer.
  • Games span across language barriers, and players do not necessarily need to speak English to participate.
  • Games are expensive—borrow a game from the library to try it before you buy it!
  • Video games may attract an underserved population of users to the library, such as struggling readers.
  • Games are another way for our patrons to learn and interact socially.
  • Games are very popular in our community, on par with other formats we collect such as graphic novels and TV series.
  • Games encourage literacy activities like reading, writing, and creating content about and around the game.

According to the April 2018 survey by the Entertainment Software Association, 64 percent of households own a device used to play video games. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the time Americans spend playing video and board games has risen 50 percent since 2003.