The latest wave of Nintendo Switch games has hit the summer market, but if you’re like me, you aren’t sure if you can justify dropping $50 to $60 to try out the newest Mario Party installment.

Did you know you can play free video games right here in Dalton? If you are looking for a new game to play this summer without having to skip out on a few lunches from your favorite fast-food restaurant, the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library has you covered. We now have a growing collection of PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and 3DS games that patrons can check out and take home.

The rules are simple. You can have one game out per card, and the games check out for one week at a time with up to two renewals. Just be sure to get them back on time so your gaming experience can stay free. Late fines for games are $1 per day per item.

On top of our awesome collection of games, we also host a variety of gamer-centered programs for teens and tweens at the library.

Once a month, we host a friendly gaming competition for the teens. Players face off as individuals or teams and battle it out to earn bragging rights and a spot of fame on our Game Tournament Leaderboard.

The last Tuesday of each month is dedicated to our Teen VR experience. Teens are given the opportunity to play the library’s Oculus Rift Virtual Reality system. Show us your moves in Beat Saber or throw burnt eggs at robots in Job Simulator. If you are feeling particularly brave, you can try to survive Five Nights at Freddy’s or Face Your Fears. If cards and paper are your preferred game style, we have more programs that you might be interested in.

Our Pokémon League meets every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. to battle it out in the trading card game and video games. Starting this August, we will host a casual club for gamers interested in Magic: The Gathering. Show off your favorite deck or try out a new concept against a great group of friendly tcg (trading card game) veterans.

We will also be relaunching our Teen Dungeons & Dragons monthly campaign in August. No experience is necessary; just show up with a will to learn and we will help you start slinging spells and fighting dragons in no time.

If any of these gaming programs interest you but you have never played before, we have staff members on hand at each event who can teach you the rules of the games and walk you through some practice matches to build your confidence before you hit the tables.

It’s a great time to be a gamer in Dalton, and the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library has plenty of free events that will get you chasing that high score and rolling those dice with like-minded peers. Come and check us out, play some games, and make some friends!

To learn more about what we have planned, visit our website, www.ngrl.org, check us out at Facebook.com/DaltonWhitfieldLibrary or call (706) 876-1360.

Logan Petty is the young adult coordinator for the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library.

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