Saying they’re going to the library may no longer be the standby excuse teens offer their parents for secretly heading out to a party or to hang out with friends.

These days, more and more young people are flocking to metro Detroit libraries: not necessarily for homework, but to participate in one of their favorite pastimes — video games.

“Getting teens to come to the library is right up there with getting them to go to church: It’s not exactly the first place they want to go,” said Christine Lind Hage, director of the Rochester Hills Public Library.

That is, until now.

Hage has stocked the shelves with 1,823 games for PlayStations 2 and 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360 and other systems. And the free sources of entertainment are hot items among adolescents — on any given day, 1,300 are checked out. The addition of the games largely contributed to the library’s 12% spike in circulation last year, she said.

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