Pottsboro Library receives federal grant to start esports program

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POTTSBORO, Tex. (KXII) Pottsboro Library received a $50,000 federal grant to start a scholastic esports program.

Esports is a form of competition using video games, and its popularity is on the rise.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency, is funding this new program which will place esports programs in libraries across the country.

"So it takes something that people love, which is what libraries are all about, independent learning. Taking something they love and then letting them explore it," said Director of Pottsboro Library Dianne Connery.

She said they take pride in having innovative technology available at their library so an esports program will fit right in.

Of the $50,000 grant, most of the money is going toward required equipment like gaming computers, headsets, and something all library visitors can benefit from.

"The piece that I'm very excited about is faster internet," Connery said.

Connery refers to esports as "connected learning" and says young people will learn important career and life skills like problem-solving, collaboration, and communication -- all while playing video games.

Since they are one of a few libraries nationally to implement this, Connery and her team will get to share their experiences with the program to libraries across the country.

Some residents are excited to see new opportunities in their town for their children.

"It's actually quite phenomenal to have so much money put in towards our town, and towards the kids alone because that's our future here in Pottsboro. It's not just for kids, it's for adults too. You can be there with your kids," said Pottsboro Resident Amber Duncan.

Once the program gets started, Saturdays at the library will become dedicated to esports.

The program will kick off this Saturday at the library from 3-5 p.m with an esports tournament. Pottsboro residents are invited and encouraged to come see what the program is all about.