I spent nearly a year and a half working as a library assistant at a public library, and it was my interest in kids and teens that allowed me to sneakily tweak my position and grow in the field of young adult librarianship. I organized a few programs including the Otaku Ninja Cafe (view the first of three) and Lunar New Year Festival, putting my knowledge of Asian culture to good use. Ganbatta ne!
The pix decorating this entry are from the last Cafe we put on, and by this time I wasn't even working at that library anymore. The Ninjas were so attached to me that I was asked to do a bit of a guest spot. This was their last chance to say goodbye to me before I moved east. At that point, nothing was keeping me from seeing my Ninjas one last time!
Activities created for the Cafe:
~ Dance Dance Revolution or Guitar Hero
~ Japan Jeopardy
~ cosplay contest
~ manga exchange
~ art corner with paper and supplies
~ unofficial tea chugging contest (this was their idea)
We had our hardcore members come to nearly every Cafe, but we would also get patrons who were present in the library on that day. I'd make my announcement in Japanese, then explain the event in English, of course. It helps when you say that there are cupcakes, cookies, and tea available, ha ha.
This club was not my idea, but it quickly became my baby. For a small branch library, it was pretty impressive that we usually had 30-40 attendees. I think that what made this club work was my respect for the kids' interests. Also, I lived in Japan for three years and I'd make sure to work it in to conversation as nonchalantly as I could. Their eyes often widened in excitement-- or narrowed in jealousy-- but then they'd open up about how they love X manga or how they think Y anime is hilarious.
I know I have a lot to learn in the realm of anime and manga (and Japanese language, of course), but I'm willing to attack with relish!