“The Mark Mazurek Gaming Center”
On Friday, September 27 at 4 pm, there will be two celebrations at Palm Harbor Library and you are all invited! That day will be the formal unveiling of a new endeavor called the “Mark Mazurek Gaming Center”.
The new service collects all of our gaming materials into one cozy area. You can check out video games and tabletop role-playing games (RPG) to take home for game nights. We have dice, character sheets, and any tokens or other materials you may need to take home as well. Each tabletop RPG has a bookplate on its inside cover that gives an overview of the game and all the materials needed to play it.
You can also have a game day at the library! We have a SNES Classic and a Sega Genesis Flashback hooked up to monitors and a collection of board games for all ages. The centerpiece is a gorgeous, specially-designed table to play them on from Table of Ultimate Gaming. The table features a beautiful tabletop that can be removed so each player has their own tray and an inlaid gaming surface for easy viewing. It is considered one of the largest public, circulating collection of tabletop RPG’s in the country. As the project leader Librarian Samma Fagan stated, “Tabletop role-playing can be seen as an escape, but it also helps bolster social skills, literacy skills, and math skills. It encourages critical thinking and provides an engaging, safe place to practice learning and being you. It has so many hidden benefits and teaches on the sly so even the most reluctant learner can practice new skills.”
And here’s the best part…not one tax dollar is being spent! Thanks to a very generous private donation and ongoing support from Karen and Bill Mazurek, the library’s once-hidden collection of tabletop RPG’s – along with video games, dice, and other RPG accessories – are now lovingly displayed in a new location. And this was all to honor the memory Karen and Bill’s son as well as our former colleague, Mark, who passed away all too soon.
Many of you who have visited Palm Harbor Library will remember Mark. He was the tall, kindly looking young man who worked at the front desk and was so helpful to everyone. He truly had a warm smile and there was a genuine goodness about him. And for those of you who really knew Mark, you’ll remember how much he pushed selling those rubber duckies as a library fundraiser. He should have gotten a commission!
So, in effect, there will be two celebrations on September 27. One of them will be offered as part of the library’s evolving role in the community and the other, a celebration of a wonderful legacy.
Gene P. Coppola, Library Director Palm Harbor Library