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Entertainment & Lifestyle

Get your geek on at Geekfest

7/25/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

On July 27, the Akron-Summit County Public Library will host its first Geekfest, an event designed to celebrate geeky obsessions. Shown are members of the 501st Legion, a Star Wars fan organization, enjoying a past program at the library.
Photo: Patti Bauch,
courtesy of Akron-Summit County Public Library
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Calling all superheroes — the Akron-Summit County Public Library is hoping for a big turnout at its first Geekfest, which will take place July 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Main Library, 60 S. High St.

Billed as an event for fans who couldn’t make it to Comic-Con® but still want to celebrate their geeky obsessions, all “fandoms” are welcome, according to Teen Librarian Sarah Rosenberger.

Star Wars, Batman, Doctor Who, Harry Potter and Naruto are among the fandoms expected, she added.

Rosenberger and another teen librarian, Sue Russ, put the event together to celebrate geek culture, and if it’s successful, Geekfest may become an annual event, according to Rosenberger.

“We want people to come in and interact with other fans,” she said.

Rosenberger said the idea to do the event came from seeing the heavy traffic taking place in the library’s graphic novel collection, housed in the Teen Department, and realizing how much people get out of the collection and how popular it is, she said.

Geekfest is a free event for all ages. Adult, teen and children’s librarians have all had hands in putting parts of it together, according to Rosenberger. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed up as their favorite characters, and library staff will provide photo-ops, she said. Attendees can pose for photographs in front of multiple backgrounds with a variety of masks and props, according to Rosenberger.

A craft table also will be set up throughout Geekfest for all ages, she said. Do-it-yourself projects such as creating comic-inspired coffee cozies will be among the activities offered, said Rosenberger. Participants also will be able to make geeky bowties and hairbows, she added.

Local comic artist Dan Gorman also will be on hand during Geekfest to show his work, and throughout the event, a selection of science fiction classics will be screened in the auditorium.

Geekfest also will offer free light refreshments, giveaways, trivia and raffles, she said.

Before other Geekfest activities get underway at 1 p.m., children can attend a morning story time. Superhero Story Time will take place at 11 a.m., which will include time to create superhero capes and masks, said Joanna Schofield, children’s librarian.

Children also will be able to attend a Superhero Academy and complete missions set up in the children’s area in order to earn induction into the Justice League and their official superhero names, said Schofield.

Story Time is geared toward families of preschool-age children, but all ages are welcome, she said.

During Geekfest, a Character Fair will begin at 2 p.m. in the Children’s Library. Participants can join in costume for activities celebrating favorite book, movie and superhero characters.

Also at 2 p.m., a Geeky Goodies Contest will take place in the library’s meeting rooms. Participants can bring a cupcake or cookie decorated to represent their favorite fandoms to enter in the contest. Judging will begin at 2 p.m., and the winners will be announced at the beginning of the Cosplay Contest.

At 3 p.m., an all-ages Cosplay Contest will be held in the auditorium. Participants dressed as their favorite characters from books, comics, movies or TV can parade across the stage for the chance to win prizes and be crowned most authentic or most creative. Children will be judged separately from teens and adults, according to Rosenberger.

For someone who’s new to mass celebrations of geeky obsessions and unsure what to expect from Geekfest, pretty much anything goes, Rosenberger said.

“Whatever you’re enthusiastic about is welcome,” she said. “Just come ready to have fun and hang out with fellow geeks.”

Geekfest may provide opportunities for fans to learn about new books or to make connections based on their obsessions, she said.

“Or you can just laugh about the librarians in silly costumes,” added Rosenberger.

Parking is free in the library deck on weekends, and there is no need to register for Geekfest activities, said Rosenberger. For more about Geekfest, call the Teen Department at 330-643-9067 or email ysodiv@akronlibrary.org.

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