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Maureen Langley's picture

Research: Public Libraries and the Mainstreaming of Nerd/Geek Culture

Dear ALA and PLA members,

I am posting to ask for your help.  I am currently writing a paper, independently, about how public libraries can (and have) embraced the rise of nerd/geek culture.

The paper will focus defining nerd/geek culture and connecting its many elements and subcultures with the many services public libraries offer.  For example, public libraries provide space for people to come and discuss their interests.  Has you library ever provided space to comics enthusiast, local filmmakers, or a Magic the Gathering Tournament?

I would love to include real-life examples of public libraries services that focus on or incorporate nerd/geek culture.  That's where you come in.  I would love for you to post any programs, collections, and other services that you've created or participated in.  

To help you better understand what I'm asking for, here's a list of nerd/geek culture topics:

  • comics and graphic novels
  • science fiction books, television (example: Doctor Who), or movies
  • fantasy books, television (example: Game of Thrones), movies (example: Lord of the Rings)
  • anime and mange
  • cosplay aka costume play (dressing as you favorite characters)
  • gaming including table top (D&D), RPG, online, card, and console games (example: Xbox)
  • film and filmmaking
  • technology and the internet (blogs, Youtube, and other Web 2.0)
  • crafting such as knitting
  • history (think Renaissance Faire)

Of course, all individuals and/or organizations will be given credits for their contributions and will be informed if/when the paper is published.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.  Thank you for your help.

Maureen Langley


Marcia Stiller's picture

My library is currently participating in the geek the library campaign by OCLC and Gates Foundation. geekthelibrary.org It's been a success for us and put the spotlight on hobbies/geek culture in the community we hadn't known about.

Marcia Stiller

Library Director
Corry Public LIbrary 

Maureen Langley's picture


Thanks for the information.  I had not heard of this.  I'll be sure to check out the site.


Elena Rosenfeld's picture

Hi Maureen - are you still looking for information? If you want, I can get you in contact to folks at the High Plains Library District who have been getting teens connected with the local LARP (Live Action Role Playing) group in the area as well as hosting some Magic and D&D-type gaming. 

We've also recently mirrored the ComicCon format to create ReadCON which had writing workshops that ranged from how to write dialog to how to write for a film production (okay...I think that's true).

Finally, if you're still hurting for ideas, I'd be happy to forward your plea for program information to the Colorado library email list.

Let me know and wishing you the best!