Terra Libris

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The purpose of this project is to promote and raise awareness of library projects that incorporate role-playing games. The project aims to provide resources, ideas, and networking for librarians and volunteers who would like to host role-playing programs at their library.

Terra Libris

Wizards of the Coast, publishers of the Dungeons & Dragons RPG, has a program called Afternoon Adventures with Dungeons & Dragons. This project would build upon that idea, providing options to run other RPGs (for those who prefer them over D&D, or for situations where the D&D name may attract a negative response), and providing further support for anyone involved in such a program (including the D&D program).

Currently, the Terra Libris project includes:

This information and news page.

A discussion subforum in the Escapist forums.

A wiki section in the Escapist Wiki. (If you would like to participate in developing the wiki, please contact me -  - to set up an editor account.)

Some of the proposed resources include:

A list of easy-to learn RPGs, with a slant towards games that are free, cheap, or available as a donation from companies that participate in library programs. (This is currently in development - see the Terra Libris Wiki page)

Articles and tips on organizing such a program - making flyers, posters, and handouts, setting schedules, and more.

Articles and tips on maintaining, and troubleshooting such a program - keeping the players interested and coming back, dealing with any objections to the program, and more.

Articles on source material - how to tie an adventure in with literature available at the library, making recommended reading lists for your adventures, running games that tie in with popular movies and television shows, and more.

Features on participating libraries - the people involved, what games they play, the response they have received, and more.

 Other potential efforts of this project include:

 Creating an "RPG Library Day," much like Free Comic Book Day or Free RPG Day, to help raise awareness.

Distributing flyers and information at library conventions, or possibly even setting up a booth at them.

At present, the project really needs ideas and inspiration from everyone, and networking with library workers and volunteers who have experience with such a program, or who are interested in getting that experience. If you would like to help out, please contact Bill Walton at


News & events relating to libraries and role-playing.

December 28th, 2011 (link to this)

Nashua Library shows us how it's done - For those who are interested in running roleplaying games at libraries, take a lesson from the Nashua Public Library in New Hampshire - their promotional banner and copy (below) are bound to get some kids interested in signing up:
Once you've squeezed all the fun you can out of computer-driven fun this Christmas vacation week, consider kicking it with a bit of imagination at the Nashua Public Library. On Dec. 29 bring a friend to the library to discover RPG – Role Playing Game – Adventures. Perfect for anyone who's ever turned a bed sheet into a superhero cape. For ages 13 to 17.
Are you running an RPG club or event at a library? Be sure to let me know about it!

April 27th, 2010 (link to this)

Dungeons & Dragons for ages 6 and up - To help promote their upcoming novel Monster Slayers, Wizards of the Coast has put together Monster Slayers: The Heroes of Hesiod, a stripped-down version of Dungeons & Dragons that's fast, fun, and playable by adventurers as young as six. Best of all, it's completely free!

The game itself is a very simple version of the D&D combat rules (so simple that they could have come from any previous edition), and the adventure that's included doesn't involve a lot of actual role-playing, but any good Dungeon Master will be able to draw that out of the players with a little effort. To play, you'll need a copy of the PDF, pencil and paper, a d20 and d6 (or three d6s if you don't have any d20s lying around), and some adventurous friends.

The page for the site also briefly mentions the benefits to young people from playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, and even suggests that this may be a good "starter package" to introduce RPGs in a library program. Read more and download the PDF here: www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4dnd/monsterslayers

(Thanks to JJ Lanza for the link.)

October 5th, 2009 (link to this)

NATIONAL GAMING DAY @ YOUR LIBRARY IS COMING SOON - It's that time of year again - National Gaming Day @ Your Library will happen in a little more than a month, on November 14th of this year.

Libraries all over the country will be participating, hosting events of board games, video games, and even some tabletop RPGs - though in many cases, roleplaying games are underrepresented, or not present at all. This will be an excellent opportunity to promote roleplaying games to new and experienced players, to raise awareness of what they are and how much fun they can be, and even gauge interest in potential RPG clubs at the library.

If you are a librarian who would like to participate, be sure to visit ngd.ala.org, and if you are a non-librarian who would like to volunteer, contact your local library and offer your services!

And as always, whenever you host any kind of RPG event at a library, let me know about it, and I'll promote it here on the Terra Libris page.

(While you're here - don't miss Liz Danforth's excellent poster that she created to promote the event. I'm happy to see some RPG dice represented there, along with popular board and video game icons!)

June 4th, 2009 (link to this)

MORE FROM LIZ DANFORTH - Over on libraryjournal.com, Liz Danforth has posted a new piece on roleplaying games in the library  Don't miss it!

April 27th, 2009 (link to this)

LIZ DANFORTH INTERVIEW ON GROGNARDIA - I've been a fan of Liz Danforth's art for a very long time, and even had the honor of meeting her at a convention in 2002. She is a very classy lady, and one of our hobby's true treasures.

Grognardia, a blog that explores the history and traditions of roleplaying, recently published a two-part interview with Liz in which she discusses her artwork, being a female gamer in a male-dominated hobby, and lots of great information about the benefits of all kinds of gaming (including RPGs) and how well they work in libraries.  Read all about it here: Part 1 - Part 2

March 6th, 2009 (link to this)

MAKING THE CASE FOR GAMING @ YOUR LIBRARY - The ALA's Library Gaming Toolkit website has released an excellent page of resources for advocating games in libraries - Making the Case for Gaming @ Your Library.

How good is it? Well, it links to The Escapist and calls it an "excellent advocacy resource." So that should give you a pretty good idea.

February 24th, 2009 (link to this)

TEN LIBRARY GAMING GRANTS ANNOUNCED - The American Library Association plans to give away ten $5,000 grants to libraries that want to develop and implement "literacy gaming services" for young people.

This includes all forms of gaming - video games, board and card games, collectible card games, and (my personal favorite) tabletop roleplaying games. This is an excellent opportunity to help promote RPGs in libraries. If you are a librarian or library volunteer and would like to know more, visit librarygamingtoolkit.org - and to fill out an application, visit librarygamingtoolkit.org/rfp

Here is the full press release:

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Literacy and Outreach Services is seeking applications from public, school and academic libraries interested in developing and implementing innovative literacy gaming services for youth ages 10-18.

This program is part of ALA’s Libraries, Literacy and Gaming initiative funded by Verizon.   
Ten $5,000.00 grants will be awarded to libraries clearly demonstrating creativity, capacity, sustainability and a strong commitment to literacy-related gaming services. In addition, the winning libraries will receive ongoing support and technical assistance from a team of nationally recognized library gaming experts. Winners will be announced during National Library Week, April 12-18. The grant application is available online at http://librarygamingtoolkit.org/rfp . All applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Friday, March 20.  

“There is no doubt that gaming and literacy go hand-in-hand. Board and video games come with text of all kinds including instructions, menus and much more. Learning the language and mechanics of any game, from chess to Little Big Planet, involves acquiring a new vocabulary and a new set of 21st century literacy skills,” said Dale Lipschultz, Literacy Officer, Office for Literacy and Outreach Services.  
Gaming is one example of how libraries continue to change to meet the needs of their communities and users, offering innovative programs and services that educate, entertain and expand interaction with their patrons.  

On Nov. 15, hundreds of libraries across the country celebrated the ALA’s first annual National Gaming Day @ your library.  Libraries of all types joined in the celebration by registering for two national gaming activities: a national video game tournament and board game challenge.

For additional information about the grant contact: Dale Lipschultz, Literacy Officer, Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, by phone, (312) 280-3275, or e-mail, dlipschultz@ala.org.

January 2nd, 2009 (link to this)

"A CASE FOR TABLETOP RPGS" IN THE LIBRARY - The School Library Journal just published an article by Cason Snow titled "Tabletop Fantasy RPGs - Tips for introducing role-playing games in your library" that excellently points out the benefits of that effort:

Genesee Valley BOCES Library System has produced a landmark document (sls.gvboces.org/gaming/standards) that relates board gaming to the American Association of School Librarians Standards for the 21st-Century Learner (ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aaslproftools/learningstandards/standards.cfm). While these standards were established for board games, the document should be used as a model for making a case for tabletop RPGs. Each of the four standards can be directly addressed by playing RPGs. Players think critically and analyze information, make informed decisions and apply knowledge to new situations when interacting with the game’s setting and cultures, share knowledge and weigh moral consequences of their actions, and participate in creating stories that last beyond the end of the session. By addressing these standards and demonstrating the direct link between gaming and learning, RPGs can gain support from administrators and teachers.

The article also includes some basic tips on where to find RPG materials, and how to find assistance and ideas online. You can read it here, and it will be added to the list of Terra Libris resources.

November 26th, 2008 (link to this)

NATIONAL GAMING DAY A SUCCESS - Jenny at the ALA's News about Games and Gaming site has issued an early report on the results of National Gaming Day @ Your Library:
  • 617 libraries registered to participate
  • 597 libraries reported results back to us
  • 14,184 people participated in NGD at those 597 libraries
  • 5,548 people played Pictureka! on Gaming Day
  • 1,137 people played Dungeons & Dragons or Magic: The Gathering
Personally, I'd rather they separate D&D and M:tG, just to get a clearer number that we can try to beat next year. You can read the full post here, which includes lots of anecdotes from libraries all over the United States.

If you participated in National Gaming Day, and ran an RPG for library patrons, let us know about it! Contact me at 

November 10th, 2008 (link to this)

11/15/08 IS NATIONAL GAME DAY @ YOUR LIBRARY - This Saturday, libraries all over the United States will be participating in National Gaming Day, an effort to raise awareness about the use of games in library programs, expose people to new kinds of games, and enable networking between game clubs and libraries.

The focus seems to be primarily on video and board games, but Wizards of the Coast has donated copies of Dungeons & Dragons to help promote the event. This would be an excellent time to contact your local library about organizing a roleplaying program - it may be too late to prepare one in time for Saturday, but most libraries would love to have volunteers the rest of the year.

Find out more at the ALA's website and at ilovelibraries.org


The official Terra Libris discussion group and the Terra Libris Wiki

Afternoon Adventures with Dungeons & Dragons, Wizards of the Coast's library program. Also check out their Wizards Play Network.

Azor Lok - A blog by a librarian who makes frequent posts on playing D&D in the library.

 Blusponge - A blog by Tom, who runs RPGs at the Lewisville Public Library in Lewisville, TX.

Gaming News from ALA, the ALA's blog on games in the library.

Games and Gaming Resources, the ALA's wiki on games in the library.

Games in Libraries, a podcast about games, gaming, and gamers in libraries.

 Gaming in Libraries course - a series of YouTube videos of a course on games in libraries.

Lewisville Public Library Roleplaying - blog for a library in Texas that regularly hosts many roleplaying events, and even some miniature painting seminars. Two fantastic resources are available here - a Power Point presentation on running RPG events in libraires and a PDF guide to RPGs for library use. Don't miss them!

LibGaming - A Google discussion group on all aspects of gaming in libraries.

Phantasm - A gaming convention held in a library in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

Articles & Blog Posts

Tabletop Fantasy RPGs - Tips for introducing role-playing games in your library - School Library Journal, January 2nd, 2008.

 Night of the Dragonslayers - Times Argus, March 23rd, 2008. The Ilsey Public Library in Vermont hosts an all-night Dungeons & Dragons marathon.

Dungeons & Dragons at the Library, Wired GeekDad, September 22nd, 2008.

Start a Dungeons & Dragons campaign @ your library. It's easy! - yalibrarian, February 26th, 2008.


A listing of role-playing events at libraries. Are you hosting one, or know of one, and you'd like to see it listed here? Contact me and let me know -  

Older listings are retained for some time after the event has passed, to give readers the opportunity to contact the library about future events.

NOTE: The libraries and groups on this list are in no way affiliated with The Escapist.

Library Location Event Date & Time
Pima County Public Library (Dusenberry - River branch) Tucson, AZ Join us for our newest gaming club - an interactive adventure game based on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. This paper/pencil gaming club is open to youth age 10 or older. Participants should have read the book and/or seen the movies. Contact: (520) 594-5600 2nd Thursday of each month, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Kennebunk Free Library Kennebunk, ME Yu-Gi-Oh, Dungeons and Dragons and more. For more information, call (207) 985-2173. Every Friday, 3 pm - 4:45 pm
Las Vegas Library Las Vegas, NV Games Played: Living Forgotten Realms, Pathfinder, D&D, D&D Miniatures, and any other RPGs, card games, board games etc. that people want to run.   Vegas Gamers members also run games on other days and places. Check out the Events section at vegasgamers.org to see all the scheduled events. 833 Las Vegas Blvd N Just south of Washington St. For more information, call (702) 455-8200 2nd Saturday of each month, 9:30am - 6pm
Lewisville Public Library Lewisville, TX Teen Roleplaying Program: Free and open to ages 12 and up.  Contact Teen Librarian Amy Albrect at (972) 219-3400 or visit http://blusponge.blogspot.com for more information. 1st and 3rd Monday of each month, 6 pm - 8:30 pm.
Ilsey Public Library Ilsey, VT Dungeons & Dragons. For more information, call (802) 388-4095 Every Tuesday, 3 pm - 6:30 pm
Campbell County Public Library Gillette, WY Dungeons & Dragons. For more information, call (307) 687-9229 Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

These are library events that have passed, but those libraries may be hosting new RPG events.  Contact them for more information.

Dakota County Library Dakota County, MN Special programs offered throughout the summer for teens (ages ages 12 to 18) including crafts, writing, dance, Dungeons & Dragons, book discussion groups, video and board games. Participating teens are invited to an end of the summer Teen Library Takeover Aug. 13. Beginning June 14th, 2010
Wilmington Memorial Library Wilmington, MA Whether you play “Magic: The Gathering,” “Dungeons and Dragons,” or something else, join this popular gaming group and be part of a self-contained fantasy game. For more information: (978) 658-2967 Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 3:00pm
Roanoke Public Library Roanoke, TX Dungeons & Dragons -  Teens only (grades 6-12). For more information: (817) 491-2691 Saturdays. 2pm - 4pm, starting September 19, 2009
Roanoke Public Library Roanoke, TX Dungeons & Dragons for grades 6-12. For more information: 817-491-2691 February 27th, 2009 2:00-4:00pm
Peterborough Public Library Peterborough, Ontario, Canada Phantasm, a game convention held at the Peterborough Public Library. Sept. 26 - 27, 2009 (Sat. 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, Sun. 10:00 am - 8:00 pm)
Wilmington Memorial Library Wilmington, MA Teen Fantasy Gaming Group -Whether you play Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, or something else, join this popular group and be part of a self-contained fantasy game. Call (978) 658-2967 for details. Nov. 10, 2009 - 3 p.m.
Iowa City Public Library Iowa City, IA Local teens in grades seven to 12 are invited to an introduction to the game Dungeons & Dragons by the staff of Critical Hit Games. Other board and card games that promote creativity will be included as well. For more information, call the fiction desk at 356-5200 or e-mail teens@icpl.org. June 9, 2009 - 2-4 pm
Burleston Public Library Burleston, TX Intro to Role-Playing Games - These two hours will have teenagers looking at the history of role-playing games from the classic pen and paper games to today’s modern video games. Materials provided. Contact: 817-295-6131 March 19, 2009 - 2-4 pm
King Country Library Bellevue, WA For teens. Play “Dungeons and Dragons” or other role-playing games at the library. Contact: 425-747-3350 March 19, 2009 - 3 pm
Defiance Public Library Defiance, OH A once a month role-playing group at the Defiance Public Library.  Librarian Dustin Harris DMs the group.  It meets every 4
weeks. Contact: 419-782-1456
March 18, 2009  Future dates: April 15, May 13
Johnson Memorial Library Hicksville, OH A twice monthly fantasy role-playing game group at Johnson Memorial Library. Librarian Dustin Harris facilitates the adventures, and refreshments are provided by the Friends of the Hicksville Library. For more info, call 419-542-6200 or email murphyam@oplin.org. March 13, 2009 - 4-6 pm 
Traverse Area District Library Meeting Room Traverse City, MI Dungeons & Dragons Quest, free and open for ages 15+. May last four hours or more. Call (231) 932-8500 for details. March 7, 2009  Future dates - Apr. 11, May 9
Las Vegas Library Las Vegas, NV Living Forgotten Realms, Pathfinder, open gaming, and indie and story games. For more information: Vegas Game Day Feb. 28, 2008 - 9:30 am - 6:00 pm
Henrietta Public Library Henrietta, NY
Teen Game Night - includes Dungeons & Dragons. Contact: (585) 359-7092 Jan. 28, 2008 - 6:30-8 p.m.
Greer Library Greer, SC D&D Series II - A continuing five-week roleplaying saga. Contact: 864- 877-8722 Jan. 17 - Feb. 14, 2009 - 1-5 pm
Watertown Free Public Library Watertown, MA Dungeons & Dragons tournament. Sign up at the Teen desk. Contact: (617) 972-6431 Jan. 10, 2008 - 2 p.m.
Selby Library Sarasota, FL Teens can make new friends and share with others their passion for role-playing games including Dungeons & Dragons. Equipment not necessary. Weekly participation encouraged and college students welcomed. Recommended for ages 13-up. Contact: (941) 861-5000 Nov. 29 - Dec. 27, 2008 - 12-4 p.m.
Kansas City Library (Plaza Branch) Mansas City, MO Dungeons & Dragons: Open Games - Join us for this classic role playing game. Together we storm the castles, grapple the monsters, sneak attack the unaware, and look good doing it! Contact: (816)701-3481 Dec. 03, 2008 - 5 p.m.

(The catalog card at the top of the page was made with the nifty Catalog Card Generator at http://www.blyberg.net/card-generator/ ) 

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