Libraries are embracing comics fans in a new way. We know that collections continue to grow, and projects like the League’s Comic Recommendation Engine get librarians excited. But did you know that libraries are beginning to throw open their hallowed halls for a day or two just for sequential art fans? Libraries all over the country have started hosting small-scale comics conventions. While these efforts are unlikely to have the power to draw stars and crowds the way the large cons like Emerald City can, they should be an awesome way for those without the money or the geographic convenience to attend a big con a chance to get a taste of the experience. Take, for example, the Toronto Comics Arts Festival, hosted by the Toronto Reference Library. With more than 300 creators and 18,000 attendees, the most significant difference between this library-hosted convention and a regular comic convention is that, since it’s hosted by a library, there are no barriers to entry– the festival is free.
Even the library system in my not-so-big hometown of Harford County, Maryland is hosting a mini comic convention.
Don’t have one in your local library? Be sure to ask your librarian if she or he has ever considered hosting. Who knows, maybe a mini-comic con will be opening its doors at your library next.