A “structured free for all” at the library

Lisa Goudy
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Arianna Murray-Sapara, 15, and Kade Ransom, 11, dance to Pitbull's song, "Feel This Moment" featuring Christina Aguilera while playing Just Dance on the XBox at the Moose Jaw Public Libary on March 8, 2014.

Kade Ransom, 11, and Arianna Murray-Sapara, 15, were feeling the moment while dancing at the library on Saturday.

“It’s fun,” said Ransom.

“(I came) just to get out of the house,” added Murray-Sapara.

Ransom and Murray-Sapara were two of the youth who came out to an afternoon of dancing and gaming at the Moose Jaw Public Library on Saturday. Both said they come to youth events regularly and enjoy playing Xbox games, Monopoly and Jenga.

Hannah Elich, who co-ordinates youth programming at the library, said the library holds game nights once a month for board games and video games.

“The most consistently played games are dance games. I don’t really know why. They’re just really popular and they’re really fun,” she said. “They’re really fun. They’re super interactive. Sometimes when it’s a group of really comfortable kids that come really regularly, sometimes they’ll all just dance to it whether they’re on the screen or not.”

While the event was initially billed as a dancing time, Elich said she decided to expand it to include other games as well.

“Games nights are really good for first timers,” she said. “It’s kind of a structured free-for-all.”

She said all youth programming is for ages 10 to 18, but most of the youth who come are between the ages 10 and 14.

Programming such as games night and other youth activities provide something fun for the youth to do in their spare time.

“I think that there’s a gap between kids’ programming and working that is difficult,” said Elich. “If you’re not a dancer and you’re not a skater and you’re not going to those kind of things, there’s not a whole lot else for you and you’re not old enough to work.

“So what do you do? You probably don’t want to stay at home because that’s home and that’s boring.”

She said a while back, the library received a grant and bought an Xbox for gaming action.

“It was a good move because we have a collection of video games,” said Elich.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Moose Jaw Public Library

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