My most popular monthly program has become Manga Club. It’s just like a book club, except with manga.
Okay, it’s actually nothing like a book club. It’s more like a crazy otaku freakout for an hour and a half focused on manga and anime. And it is glorious.We meet for an hour and a half once a month. I usually get between 15 and 20 teens each time, which is a great number for any kind of book-focused program. We have so, so much fun!
Here’s how it works:
1. Pick a time and place. Make sure your regulars know when it is. Put fliers up by the manga section. Advertise it at your anime club. The cozier and soundproof the place, the better.
2. Put holds on your newest, coolest manga weeks in advance. You’ll want to have it on hands to show your teens. Trust me. You will need them. Your teens will ask for them. Also get a bunch of older stuff that they may not have heard of. Pull some manga from the children’s section (like Sailor Moon and Pokemon) that your teens might not know about. Request copies of manga from other branches that your teens might not know about either.
3. Gather supplies: have paper and pencil for yourself and the teens. You’ll want to write down their suggestions for additions to your collection. Also have a laptop to use so you can look up manga in your library’s catalog to show them what you do and do not already have. Get snacks (preferably pocky!) You can get pocky at Kroger, but it’s best to buy it in bulk online. Seriously.
4. Have the program! At the program you should not expect to keep your teens under control. You should not expect a book club style discussion.
You should expect to give suggestions, to get suggestions for manga the library should buy, to talk about manga that are similar or different from others your teens have read, and to talk about anime. You should encourage teens to give suggestions to each other. You should encourage them to just chill out and read some manga for part of the program.