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News / Clark County News

Washington Secretary of State Hobbs visits Camas library for Dungeons & Dragons launch

He showcased a Dungeons & Dragons library kit that was donated through a program administered by the Washington State Library, a division of his office

By Dylan Jefferies, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 4, 2024, 4:52pm
4 Photos
Secretary of State Steve Hobbs takes a turn while playing Dungeons &amp; Dragons at the Camas Public Library on Monday afternoon. The role-playing game kit was donated through the Washington State Library, which his office oversees.
Secretary of State Steve Hobbs takes a turn while playing Dungeons & Dragons at the Camas Public Library on Monday afternoon. The role-playing game kit was donated through the Washington State Library, which his office oversees. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

CAMAS — Matt Goshen trekked to the Camas Public Library Monday afternoon when he heard that Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs was there to play a game of Dungeons & Dragons with state Sen. Annette Cleveland, among others.

“I didn’t know we had a secretary of state who plays Dungeons & Dragons,” said Goshen, a Camas resident. “That’s pretty cool.”

In fact, Hobbs is an avid player of the tabletop role-playing game, and he visited the library to showcase a Dungeons & Dragons library kit that was donated through a program administered by the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State.

Hobbs hopes the donation will help connect the community with the library.

“I think we’ve seen what’s going on, sadly, in this state and across the country where people are attacking libraries to try and ban books,” he said.

He pointed to the Dayton library in Columbia County, which nearly became the first library in the country last year to shutter over disputes over what books it offers.

“I bet you that the community wouldn’t be so quick to get rid of their library if they were tied to it a little closer,” he said.

In March, through a partnership between gaming company Wizards of the Coast and the Office of the Secretary of State, 75 Dungeons & Dragons library kits were delivered to the Washington State Library’s Tumwater location for distribution statewide. Many libraries will also receive up to $2,000 through the program to bring tabletop role-playing games to patrons.

The Camas Public Library will begin hosting Dungeons & Dragons programming in September.

“I am happy to be part of Camas Public Library’s first Dungeons & Dragons game,” Hobbs said. “Communities benefit greatly from the chance to engage in world-building, character creation and the therapeutic effects of tabletop gaming.”

During the event, participants learned how to play the immersive collaborative storytelling game while painting miniature figurines. Meanwhile, Hobbs, Cleveland and others played a game that lasted three hours at a table in the center of the room.

“As chair of the Senate Health Long Term Care Committee, I distinctly understand how important it is that we do take time to play,” said Cleveland, D-Vancouver. “Play is so important to our mental health, physical health, our cognitive abilities and, most importantly, to create connection and community.”

Camas Public Library Director Connie Urquhart said she is excited to bring Dungeons & Dragons to the library.

“Libraries are cornerstones of learning and community,” she said. “Tabletop games are a fantastic fit because they involve strategic thinking, problem-solving and collaborative storytelling in a welcoming and inclusive environment.”

Hobbs said he is working to expand the program, and that he hopes to bring Dungeons & Dragons to libraries across the state.

“We are now working with Wizards of the Coast to see if we can get more of these so that every library actually has one,” he said.

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