Family fun could begin this summer with the throw of the dice – large wooden yard dice developed for outdoor games and available at the Madison Public Library.

“We’re not just books anymore,” said Melanie Argo, systems librarian. “Books are just the beginning.”

This summer, the library added seven outdoor games and a metal detector to its collection. The goal is to provide families with new opportunities for fun that don’t involve spending money.

“Why not borrow something instead of buy it?” Argo suggested.

The project was funded in part by the recent sale of prints the library had in its collection. The Friends of the Madison Public Library also supported it.

“They’re always ready and willing to help us as we need it,” said Argo, who is also the library’s liaison with the volunteer group.

Their feedback also helped to shape decisions regarding the new acquisitions, especially the metal detector.

“During our conversation with the Friends group, one of the Friends said, ‘My husband would love that’,” Argo reported.

With it, library patrons can do a little treasure hunting.

In addition to the wooden dice and metal detector, the library purchased a croquet set, cornhole, kan jam, kubb (pronounced like ‘cube’), spikeball and giant dominoes.

“The one my family likes most is cornhole. It’s a beanbag toss,” Argo said, adding it’s a great activity for camping.

As with other library materials, the games and metal detectors can be checked out. Currently, a library patron can check out one game for one week.

All the games have rules for players, but Argo encourages people to also use their imaginations and develop new rules.

For her, the games provide families and other groups with the opportunity to be together and to have fun.

She did note that while libraries are not just about books, the library continues to add new books to its collections.

Four boxes of books were sitting by her desk and will be processed for circulation in coming weeks.