Anime Clubs for Public Libraries: A Practical Guide for Librarians

Rowman & Littlefield. (Practical Guides for Librarians: Bk. 70). Sept. 2020. 194p. pap. $65. ISBN 9781538130728.
Anyone unfamiliar with anime and manga (Japanese animation and comics) would be forgiven for thinking that running an anime club is as simple as pressing play on a video. Far from it! But they’ll find plenty of guidance in Pard’s guide, which is packed with crafts, activities, recipes, and context for new and fan librarians alike. Pard, a youth services librarian at Keshen Goodman Public Library, Halifax, Nova Scotia, draws from personal experience, interviews with multiple public librarians across North America, and articles to provide best practices and a slew of ideas for librarians looking to understand and host anime and manga fans of all ages. She explains the social benefits of fandom and suggests ways to build responsibility in club volunteers. Providing historical and cultural context, she details anime’s rise to prominence and lasting influence in pop culture and draws a clear line between celebrating cultural experiences and committing cultural appropriation. Lessons range from practical concerns about screening rights and refreshments to community outreach and scaling up for larger events. A section on K-pop, while tangential to anime, will come in handy nonetheless. Chapters are organized for easy reference, including a reading guide at the beginning of the book and a list of citations and key point summaries at the end of each chapter. Photos demonstrate the results of different crafts and foods.
VERDICT Librarians, here is your one-stop shop for incorporating anime, manga, and public enthusiasm into library programming. The rabbit hole is deep but rewarding.

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