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Mini A-Kon IV

Denton Public Library – North Branch
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Innovation Leader: Juli Gonzalez, Public Services Librarian, juli.gonzalez@cityofdenton.com

Problem Statement

In order to reach a large number of teens and young adults who do not regularly use the public library, the Denton Public Library decided to create a program that emulates a highly popular anime convention in Dallas, A-Kon®. Since manga is one of our highest circulating materials, and we have a steady group attending our monthly anime club, Animanga, we decided to do our own version of A-Kon®, providing anime and manga lovers with a total anime experience, calling it Mini A-Kon.

Innovation

Mini A-Kon IV was an Anime filled afternoon designed for teens but open to all. A large bulletin board displayed the Mini A-Kon Art Show featuring local, youth, anime-themed art. The library was a hub of activity from noon to 5 p.m. Attendees were provided with numerous activities and presentations. Representatives from FUNimation came to speak. Voice Actors who voice the Japanese animation into English also spoke to large numbers of fans. There was a costume contest, Cos Play, and a costume making contest, Iron Cos Play. In addition, video gaming was provided all afternoon by DFWGames and a free CapCom vs. Marvel video game tournament was held. Local game shop, Role2Play Games provided numerous board games to play on tables throughout the library. We also had an artist panel and a JRock/Pop panel discussing art and music. All speakers held autograph sessions with lines filling the foyer. At the end of the day we held drawings for donated prizes.

Progress

Mini A-Kon IV was a huge success. This program gets increasingly popular every year, but this year A-Kon®, FUNimation and DFWGames helped promote our event on their websites. Because of the increased popularity and wide range of promotion we had teens come from all over DFW, and a few drove from faraway places like Palestine, TX. The masses that attend this event are not just our regular library teens, it attracts all types. This event provides great exposure showing teens/young adults that libraries are for everyone; we enjoy serving the community as a whole. Many older customers came up asking what was going on, when I explained the event, I was happy to hear they thought it was great; they loved seeing all the enthusiastic young people in the library. A great time was had by all, no negative incidents occurred, the library was full of teens, families and seniors, all of whom came together and enjoyed what the library had to offer that Saturday, February 26, 2011.