What do your teens like to do? My county has a large population of teens who are interested in comic books, anime, and gaming. As any good library system, my system offers plenty of programming to draw this population in, but when the organizers of PalmCon– a local comic book and collectibles convention– approached the library with the opportunity to run a table at this year’s convention, we jumped at the chance. We saw it as an opportunity to gain exposure for our gaming and anime programs as well as our graphic novel collection.
We transformed our table into a mobile branch. Convention attendees were able to sign up for a library card as well as check out the popular graphic novels that we’d brought from our collections. They were able to learn about our anime and gaming programs. Publishers sent the library giveaways and prizes to hand out. Library staff members circulated among the convention’s 500 attendees encouraging people to stop by the library’s table which was busy the whole day. Costumed participants were photographed with their library cards.
The event was a huge success. Many of the convention’s attendees were not aware of the library’s extensive graphic novel collection or its related events. Convention organizer, Martin Pierro of Cosmic Times, said “ My motivation behind doing PalmCon was to help grow the local comic community and knowing that the library has a vast graphic novel collection – it just seemed like the perfect fit. It was a great arrangement, and as long as the library wants to come back, I will have a permanent table reserved for them for years to come.” Overall, the library signed up 11 new patrons, checked out 37 items, and made a lasting impression on the convention’s attendees.
So, having trouble attracting teens to your library? What do they like to do? Horseback riding? Crafting? Music? Start pairing up with these communities to find out about their events. Then, bring your library to your teens.