Now that I’ve had a month to settle into my daily routine here at my library, I’ve finally gotten some programming set. Today was my first Comic Book Club, an idea I’d been trying to get off the ground for over a year, but could never quite make happen at my previous library. Since the crowds here are pretty robust, and the kids are hungry for programming, I thought I’d give it a shot.
I kept it pretty laid back for our first meeting, since I’m still new here, myself. I had seven kids show up, all aging from 7-9 years old. They were excited to be talking about comic books, and the fact that I was wearing a Green Arrow t-shirt and comic book shoes, so that was a great conversation opener. We talked about what different TV shows and comics we like – Teen Titans and Steven Universe got huge props, which means I need to check out Steven Universe now. Plants vs. Zombies got some love, too.
We talked about what kind of comic book club we wanted to be. They were really enthusiastic about reading a graphic novel together and talking about it, and they wanted to learn more about comics that are on the shelves at the library. Babymouse, Owly, and Garfield are current favorites, and I’ve just ordered more books to put on the shelves, so maybe next week’s meeting will be an unveiling of the new stuff!
I used the comic book club as an excuse to talk about other programs the kids may want. Tabletop Gaming got some promising feedback, so that made my day. I’m thinking I may need to start a teen comic book club, too, because I had no idea how many younger kids would want in on this. They also want to watch movies, so I need to figure out the space situation (we’re tightly packed in this library) and make that happen.
My comic book store, Royal Collectibles in Forest Hills, generous donated some Halloween ComicFest copies of Grimmiss Island and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, so I was doubly thrilled. The kids in my library’s neighborhood don’t always have the disposable income for comics of their own, so this made their day.
I passed out some comic book templates that I found on Pinterest, and the kids went to work. I have to tell you, the creativity blew me away. Yeah, there was the one kid that made a new generation’s version of Spy vs. Spy, with one guy and another guy yelling “DIE!” and killing one another with explosions, but the other kids really sat and thought out their stories, even paging through the books I had on the table for ideas. We agreed that every week, I’ll give them more comic paper, and they can continue their stories (or write news ones), and create their own comic book.
It was a 45-minute program, with relatively no financial outlay thanks to the donation from Royal. It got the kids talking, I got to put names to some faces I see every day, and it helped me build a rapport with them. I’m already excited for next week!