April 16, 2015 – In conjunction with both the Nassau and Suffolk County Library Associations, DLIS co-sponsored and hosted the Long Island Libraries and Pop Culture Conference (LIPopCon) at the St. John’s Oakdale Campus. Event activities spanned different locations on campus, including the Bourne Mansion and the Benilde Library. Held between 9 and 4:30, attendees were provided breakfast and lunch, as well as numerous opportunities for networking and meeting new people. DLIS students could be seen tabling the event alongside independent artists and book signing booths operated by the day’s guest speakers.
The event drew a large number of local Long Island and Queens area librarians and graphic novel or comic artists as well as a small group of interested DLIS students. Celebrating the appropriate incorporation of pop culture in libraries, #LIPOPCON2015 ran with great success. The day’s schedule accommodated three sessions from which attendants could choose from five different panels, addresses or discussions about topics ranging from visual literacy, social justice, and cosplay all aimed to generate support for the active inclusion and use of graphic novels, comics, gaming and other popular culture into library services.
The event’s Keynote Speaker was Raina Telgemeier, a New York Times graphic novel best-seller award winner for her works Smile and Drama. In her speech, Telgemeier addressed her humble beginnings and how she flourished as an artist, eventually leading to her current publications under Scholastic. She took the audience through the process of creating graphic novels, from her very first picture diaries to her adaptation of the popular Babysitter’s Club novels. Describing her workflow, materials, and technologies used to create comics for a graphic novel; Telgemeier legitimizes her craft for what she called “the superheroes of distribution – librarians”, providing support for makerspaces in libraries.
The event concluded with over 20 raffle prizes and a large thank you to the LIPopCon Committee, the Library Associations, St. John’s, and of course all those in attendance. View the Committee’s coverage of the event via the Facebook page or check out the day’s scheduled events and a recap of featured guests at the LIPopCon Website.