While running an Anime Club program for teens or adults may seem simple, it’s actually one of the more challenging programs that libraries offer. Not a lot of planning goes into the event. Choosing an anime to watch can be tricky, but there are more than enough options to go on. Getting supplies is easy – Kroger and Walmart have a small selection of Japanese snacks and drinks like pocky and aloe vera drinks. Advertising and marketing programs is second nature to librarians.
Actually running the program is the challenging part. You’ve got to have a passion for the content and subject matter. Sharing that passion with the attendees is what keeps them interested and coming back for more programs. Anyone can turn on Netflix and watch anime at home. Watching anime with other people who also love it, having discussions with them, and sharing your passion and enthusiasm is the best part of anime clubs. Building that little community can take some time – often months of anime clubs will pass with only a couple of attendees. But once you’ve got a good group going (just like a book club) it can be an incredibly meaningful and rewarding experience for everyone.
Anime club programs are also a great way to work on your library’s collection. Attendees will often know the exact volumes of certain manga series that have been damaged or gone missing, allowing you to fill in collection gaps. They will also have recommendations for new series to add to the collection. You can bring a wide variety of materials related to anime and Japanese culture, as well as video games and cosplay, and participants may check those items out.
If you don’t have an anime club at your library, you’re missing a great opportunity for community development, especially for that hard to reach “new adult” demographic. Anime clubs for teens and adults are a way to express one’s love for the otaku world, and share that passion with others. Creating a community of anime fans at programs, and creating new anime fans, is a fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved.