Tuesday, April 10, 2012


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“Is the library back?” That’s what people were asking us as we set up for the 3rd annual Manga Reading Lounge at the Anime Detour anime and manga convention, making us feel like beloved regulars. Convention goers liked being able to spend a little down time reading or making origami flowers in the midst of all the activity. The Lounge was better than ever, with comfy bean bag chairs (thanks, Jodi!) and pillows, rope lights, and a new Creative space with origami paper, colored pencils and markers. Hennepin County and St Paul provided books and equipment, while Hennepin County, Ramsey County, and St. Paul (me and Peter B.) employees staffed the Lounge, and MELSA provided money.  I learned about  programs like Hennepin’s “Iron Cosplay” contest (make costumes out of random objects) and Ramsey County’s Pro Wrestling event.

Stephanie w. from Hennepin County was the overall organizer. She created a shared Excel spreadsheet for staffing and another for manga (cuts down on duplicates!), which helped a lot. The library iPad was useful for answering questions such as, “How many volumes are in my favorite manga series?” and “What are the best new steampunk novels?”

Anime Detour management kindly provided food for a charity breakfast, with proceeds going to local libraries. i helped with making change and drumming up business.

346 people signed up to win prizes, while I counted 342 interactions. Since I didn’t work there the whole time, I would guess over 400 people interacted with library staff.

--Andrea @Central

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