Library celebrates International Tabletop Day

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson Louise Kos, left, helps her granddaughter, Rori Spriggs, take her turn on a “Sesame Street” version of Chutes and Ladders during the International Tabletop Day event at the Clovis-Carver Public Library.

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson
Louise Kos, left, helps her granddaughter, Rori Spriggs, take her turn on a “Sesame Street” version of Chutes and Ladders during the International Tabletop Day event at the Clovis-Carver Public Library.

By Kevin Wilson
Managing Editor
kwilson@cnjonline.com

The Clovis-Carver Public Library, which frequently hosts board meetings of city, county and state entities, had a different type of board meeting Saturday.

This one, better known as International Tabletop Day, went on for nine hours with a focus on friends, fun and face-to-face interaction via the board game.

This is the second consecutive year the relatively young holiday has found its way to the library, with Clovis residents Sara Williford and Ruthann Kelly helping Adult Services Librarian Sarah Lewis put on the event.

International Tabletop Day started as an annual event in 2013, with a focus on both hardcore and casual board game players. A national fundraising webcast is hosted by Wil Wheaton — who played Wesley Crusher on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and now plays a fictional version of himself in “The Big Bang Theory” — and Felicia Day, best known as Vi from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

Locally, Williford tried to bring the holiday to various places. Her house wasn’t quite big enough, and there weren’t many facilities that had the space or interest to host.

Soon enough, she found Lewis, who was more than happy to add the holiday — a floating Saturday during the spring, announced by Wheaton and Day months in advance — to the family game events she tries to do quarterly.

Lewis, who has worked at the library for about three years, said the family game events are a low-cost activity since she provides many of the games from her own collection. The benefit is an individual or family can see if it likes a game before spending $30 or more and crossing their fingers. Lewis noted some libraries do allow people to check out a board game just like a book.

The south wall of the library’s Ingram Room was lined with tables full of games — many of them with the owner’s last name scrawled in permanent marker — ranging from standards like Candy Land and Operation to the “never heard of it” variety.

There were two versions of Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit and Yahtzee, along with lesser-known games like Qwirkle and Killer Bunnies. Though most were brought in by the three organizers — Kelly pointed to the right corner table and said, “All of those games are mine.” — some in attendance brought their favorite obscure game to demonstrate how much fun it was.

Though the event is billed as a family activity, there is an option for more adult games like Cards Against Humanity. A spare room is set aside in the library, far from impressionable young minds.

Williford said she normally buys several board games annually, but now tries to purchase two a year specifically for the holiday. She and Kelly also help Lewis provide a small amount of snacks.

“We couldn’t do it without them,” Lewis said, “because I have no running budget. Friends of the Library will donate, Sara or Ruthann will provide it or I provide it out of pocket.”

The Noonday Kiwanis Club, which includes Williford, also donated a pair of board games as door prizes.