Chandler Public Library’s Latest Addition: A Board Game Lounge for Everyone

The Chandler Public Library opened its new Book & Board Lounge in April. (Photo by Robert Gundran)

By Robert Gundran
May 1, 2023

From classics like Monopoly to modern gems like Wingspan, everyone can find a game to enjoy. 

Looking for a spot to try the latest board games, or play some old classics with friends, all for free? Check out the Chandler Public Library’s newest feature, the Book and Board Lounge.

The library celebrated the opening of its new lounge at their downtown branch on April 27 in an event with Mayor Kevin Hartke, Vice Mayor Matt Orlando, and Councilmember Christine Ellis, among others. 

Dozens of people gathered for the grand opening of the lounge in the lobby of the library, excited to discover what the space looked like, and what games would be available for play. 

The Book & Board Lounge has a large table available for reservations. (Photo by Robert Gundran)

The board games are only available to play in the library, and are not available to be checked out—but a room with a full-sized gaming table is available for anyone to reserve for games that may take a bit more table space. From classics like Monopoly to modern gems like Wingspan, everyone can find a game to enjoy. 

“Libraries have and will continue to be a connecting place,” Hartke said at the opening. “Connecting for knowledge, connecting for learning, and now connecting for activities.”

The Chandler Public Library is no stranger to new and innovating fixtures you wouldn’t expect at a public library. It has a 3D printer and podcast equipment available for use on the second floor. 

Bringing in a New Idea

Alexis Merritt, a member of the Chandler Public Library board, said the idea for creating a board-gaming section in the library was initially hers. She said she saw a library in Oregon had board games available, and that’s when the idea struck her. 

“I joined the library board last summer, with the hopes to turn my passion for board games into a future collection here at the Chandler Library,” Merritt said. “I had always dreamed of a place nearby where we could go to meet our friends and play games.”

Library officials said nearly 20 different game publishers donated games to the library. (Photo by Robert Gundran)

To foster even more connection, the board-game lounge has a cafe, where people can grab some coffee or a snack. 

“[The library] needed a space for a new cafe,” Merritt said. “I wanted board games, they wanted a cafe, and the board game cafe was a natural conclusion.”

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  • Robert Gundran

    Robert Gundran grew up in the Southwest, spending equal time in the Valley and Southern California throughout his life. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2018 and wrote for The Arizona Republic and The Orange County Register.

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