volunteering

Volunteering and Volunteer of the Year!

Did you know Spielbound is a non-profit organization? That means we can’t be what we are without a dedicated army of volunteers doing everything from teaching games at the shop to selling raffle tickets at Shakespearean plays. That’s right: you don’t even have to know how to play any games to volunteer for Spielbound! There are also no minimum time commitments, so anyone can help, even if it is just once.

Anyone who wants to help out can find something to do:

  • If you have a game you want to teach others, lead one (or many!) of our .
  • If you are an organizational genius, help for our library.
  • Maybe you’re looking for a way to exercise your razor-sharp wit and would like to be our .
  • You could help our Teaching Outreach Coordinator test and develop for games.
  • We also have occasional , such as teaching games at events away from the shop or the above-mentioned selling of raffle tickets at Shakespeare on the Green.
  • You can always post short reviews in our online library, but we'd like some for our blog here.

2017, update from Spielbound's Librarian, Marcus Ross

Over 2,000 board games have been donated to Spielbound by our passionate supporters. Pictured here are two such games gifted by Kaleb Michaud and Marcus Ross.

The game library at Spielbound recently surpassed 2000 catalogued games.

TWO. THOUSAND.

Passing a milestone like this affords us an opportunity to examine what makes it special. The sheer depth of a publicly accessible catalog that size sets us far apart from the other game libraries and cafes around the world. The bulk of those games are made available from the vast personal collection of Spielbound’s founder, Dr. Kaleb Michaud. You’ll recognize the name from the purple stickers that grace most of the box lids at the cafe. But we also add games to the library via donations from the public. Since the library is part of the 501c(3) non-profit side of the business, donations to it are tax deductible.

The library itself is the central, defining asset of Spielbound’s non-profit arm: it’s the reference catalog for the Spielmasons game design group, the enabling resource for the education program, and the experimental lab for our Stay Sharp Seniors program. Keeping it organized, relevant and vibrant is a constant challenge. The library has to serve all these purposes and also work as an attraction for the public we serve and we have all types: hardcore strategy gamers, college kids on a night out, workers doing team-building exercises, or families spending the day with young children.

Want to join our team?

Won't someone please think of the Meeples?

Interested in getting involved with Spielbound beyond the games? Most importantly, do you love creating and building the Spielbound community? Then please, for the sake of all the meeples, join our Spielbound team!

Spielbound is looking for a communications intern to get involved with our mission. You would be a part of marketing via Social Media platforms, creating and assisting in the coordination of community events, and helping to build not only the Spielbound community, but its connections with the entire Omaha area! See our full description for more information.

Also, Spielbound is looking for new volunteers for several of our programs including game demoers, library catalogers, web page editing, and, for those with greater ambitions, board members and staff. If interested, please contact Zeuben, the director of communications, at .

Game Night!

FREE GAME NIGHT

Free Game Night for the nonprofit

Come and join us for a game night dedicated to the nonprofit side of Spielbound! We work all over the Omaha area to promote and fulfill our mission: striving to educate, engage, and create community through board games. We have 4 branches that all depend upon our large, donated library and our volunteers:

  • – works to develop young minds by challenging them! Programs include: day camps, game-specific lesson plans, and UNO educator trainings.
  • – devoted to the senior community in many areas that include developing senior game-playing groups, researching the health benefits of gaming, and creating accessories that make games more accessible to all.
  • – a collective of board gaming enthusiasts that meet weekly to play and test games developed locally.
  • – our primary community outreach: game events all over Omaha, daily demos in our library, and endless opportunities to engage with people and organizations.

The Year in Review

Keeping moving ahead and always trying to improve can be great for creating successes, but I am also a firm believer in taking pause to review where we've come - the end of the year and other anniversaries are good for this.

2014 in Review

In the first quarter (Q1) we were finalizing details of our lease and including interviews with folks who had run several successful Kickstarter projects and non-profit community centers of their own. The most important decision we made was to tie the signing of the lease to the Kickstarter itself. If the public didn't support our idea enough to fund it, then we wouldn't move forward. *Spoiler alert* We're so glad you did support us! :-)

In Q2 we launched this Kickstarter project with great trepidation and excitement. The wonderful support from for using their space for public game nights, , and word of mouth helped us be successful in raising much-needed startup funds! It was the first time that I got to be the public face and meet with the public about the project we had been working on for a couple of years. We signed the lease before the end of the Kickstarter and quickly moved forward with construction/remodeling.

Hundreds of hours were put in by our amazing volunteersHundreds of hours of hard work from our amazing volunteers went into to cleaning and prepping our space in the summer of 2014.

Greetings from our new Teacher Outreach Coordinator!

Michael Fryda
Thanks for finding your way to Spielbound!

My name is Michael Fryda and I am the Teacher Outreach Coordinator for the organization. I'll be maintaining this blog to help you, the reader, understand what Spielbound has to offer you. I am also the contact for teachers in the Metro area who are interested in finding ways to bring board games into their curricula and after school clubs.

Why me? I'm a twelve-year veteran high school teacher and an adjunct professor of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. I teach science at Westside High School in Omaha and I've been involved in creating staff development programs and mentoring first year teachers my entire career.

I've also been sponsoring an after school game club at Westside High School since 2003. A colleague splits the duties with me. Between the two us, we reach over 100 students every Tuesday. When I started the club, I set a series of educative goals for our students. We knew a decade ago, just as we do now that games have strong capacity for teaching critical thinking, strategic thinking, and cost-benefit analysis. All of these thinking modalities are taught in school curricula. We also wanted to be sure that students had a safe, inclusive environment to be at after school. Finally, we wanted to model a positive sporting spirit with our students.

Construction update!

Construction update

The main floor construction is mostly complete including all of the ADA improvements. The exterior fixes are mostly done, too, even with our new sign (just waiting on the black overhang to be installed). Now we're awaiting approval from various city inspections and some additional work in the basement. Once we get the approval, we'll start moving in the games.

Our new sign!

Our new sign!

What is Game Cataloging?

Having a library of over a thousand board games is impressive and takes up a LOT of space. Cataloging 1000 games is a whole other adventure. Since last June, folks who have asked to help volunteer for Spielbound have been gathering around twice a month to catalog games. This is not a simple task as several steps are needed to get an unopened game readied for members and patrons to play at our board game cafe.

Meet Our New Communications Intern!

Nate Kramer

Nate Kramer comes to Spielbound via the internet; a place strewn with board games from every age, country, and classification. Fortunately, as our new Communications Intern, Nate will be dealing with board games he can actually touch, feel and sometimes taste. Nate will be informing the masses (you) of weekly happenings about and often at Spielbound as it opens in the early summer of 2014.

Communications Intern position

As we get ready to launch our online campaign and make several new announcements and projects, we at Spielbound are looking for a new addition to our group to help us make this successful. Spielbound is now accepting applications for a Communications Intern for 2014.
See this pdf document for details. As always, we accept volunteer help on a regular basis. Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Cecily, for more details (cecily at spielbound dot org).