- Associated Press - Monday, November 28, 2016

DANBURY, Conn. (AP) - Stephanie Martin and her nephew, Luciano, carefully surveyed their puzzle as it took shape Saturday afternoon, arranging pieces to create the image of dinosaurs gathered around a pool of water.

“It’s hard,” said Luciano, 7.

His aunt agreed

“It is very hard, but it’s going to be so good when we get it together. We’re going to feel so accomplished.”

Putting puzzles together was just one of seven activities offered at Danbury Library as part of International Games Day, which started nine years ago in Australia as an attempt to break the record for the most number of people playing the same game at the same time in libraries around the world. It’s now a yearly event joining more than 8,000 libraries in 53 countries.

“We come all of the time for game day,” Martin said. “It’s so much fun.”

Aurelio Muraca, the library’s technology program coordinator, said he’s seen attendance triple in the past three years, which he credits to community and business support.

“I love to see things start small and blossom,” he said.

This year, guests could play Jenga, Minecraft, video games and board games as well as shoot marshmallows with a launcher designed at the Hackerspace. Participants could also stamp a card at each station to submit for a chance to win prizes.

Maryellen DeJong, the library’s community relations coordinator, estimated that 75 people had come out in the first few hours of the six-hour event.

“Our competition today is the weather,” DeJong said. “I can understand that it’s hard to come inside when it’s beautiful out.”

Muraca said the event also showcases what the library offers.

“The library isn’t just about books,” he said. “There are a lot of things for the whole family to come in and use their hands.”

Valentina Jimenez, a junior at Danbury High School and one of the event volunteers, said her 12-year old cousin had made new friends in the short time he was at the event. She decided to bring him because he loves puzzles, and introduced him to kids she knew there from her previous volunteer experience at the library.

“They were so excited and ran off,” she said.

Jimenez saw many kids’ eyes light up at the games.

“Some kids don’t have board games in the marshmallow shooter at home, so when they get a chance to play here they get really excited,” she said. “I was only supposed to stay until noon but I was having so much fun I decided to stay,” Jimenez said.

Downstairs, two friends and their sons assembled a 300-piece puzzle of various book covers in 42 minutes, declaring them the champions of the jigsaw puzzle competition.

The team of five decided to come out at team member Mathew Gee’s suggestion. Gee, 10, of Danbury, saw the flier while checking out books during one of his weekly visits to the library.

“I thought it would be fun and a nice time to spend together as friends,” he said.

His friend and puzzle teammate, Calvin Kittredge, 11, of Danbury, said he was happy he came.

“I wanted to stay home and play video games and not play puzzles, but now that I did it, it’s insanely fun, just as fun as any video game,” Calvin said.

When they learned the event was one of thousands around the world, they said it added meaning.

“It makes the world into a global village, despite all of the segregation, which is a good thing,” Calvin said.

His mom, Michele Kittredge added, “It’s a great time to promote togetherness.”


Information from: The News-Times, https://www.newstimes.com

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide