Local library compaign supports passions of community

The word “geek” can have a variety of meanings to many different people. When used as a verb – to “geek” is to have a deep interest or love for something. Everyone geeks something and your local library supports your interests.

Athletes geek their sport, artists geek their medium. The James V. Brown Library geeks the community and wants everyone to share what they geek with others. The library also welcomes the community to browse the abundance of items and resources available to them through the library on the subjects that they geek.

“Geek the Library” is a national campaign in which the James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., and the Montgomery Area Public Library, 1 S. Main St., Montgomery, are the local libraries participating in the campaign.

“The public library supports whatever you geek,” said Barbara McGary, executive director at the James V. Brown Library. “We want this to be a fun campaign for the community to gather together and share what they geek.”

There are 93 libraries in more than 48 states participating in the campaign nationwide. The James V. Brown library hopes that the local campaign will double the amount of current library card holders as well as bring others back to the library who may not have visited in a while.

“Ultimately, I’d like to see every member of the community when they think about the library, think about the value of being able to pursue their passion,” said Robin Glossner, development director at the James V. Brown Library. “That’s really important to us ongoing for our support and vitality and continued existence. This will be a great opportunity for us to organize our message around a phrase we think resonates.”

The campaign also incorporates a mix of national and local advertising materials – some posters will feature local residents sharing what they geek.

Through the “Geek the Library” campaign, the library staff wants to spread the word about the services they have to offer and hope those services will help library card holders find a place where they can go to research and learn more about the things that interest them – the things they “geek.”

“We have local talent coming in to show what they do really well. Whether it is an art or a craft, we invite the public to come in for that. The teen and tween areas are jammed with kids after school in the afternoon,” said McGary, who geeks philosophy and reading.

The library offers free wi-fi for students needing to complete assignments and for community members needing access for various personal and professional reasons. It also offers a wide variety of programs including after school homework help for students, SeniorNet classes for older adults wanting to learn more about using computers and the Internet. The library also is the center for passports in the community.

“We have job assistance services and free computers and have something for everyone of all ages,” said Dana Brigandi, media coordinator for the James V. Brown Library, who geeks writing and memoirs.

The library also offers programs outside of its own walls, visiting businesses and schools in the area.

“We do outreaches at Panera Bread – we meet people where they are. We bring the library to children under 5. We visit 34 daycares every two weeks and connect with children,” McGary said.

The library staff is hoping to have supporters out in the street around the library on April 18, picketing with signs asking “What do you geek?” They hope that community members will share their passions with each other and learn about the library and how it supports those passions.

During the event, there will be huge “geek boards” where people can write and share what they geek with others. Those who share what they geek will be entered to win prizes. There also will be an opportunity for those interested to buy customized T-shirts with what they geek printed on the front of them. The library staff also wants the campaign to spread to local businesses and hope that they too embrace the movement and display signs in their storefronts sharing what they geek.

“My vision is, at the end of the first three or four months (of the campaign) people will understand what “I geek” means. We will be geeking all over the place for the rest of 2014 and into 2015,” said Glossner, who geeks cooking and dogs.

For more information about the “Geek the Library” campaign, visit www.geekthelibrary.org, www.jvbrown.edu/geek or on Tumbler at jamesvbrownlibrary.tumblr.com.