By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer
A geek is not an awkward person anymore, library officials said.
It’s a verb — one that means being passionate about a topic or activity, said Jan Bryant, branch manager at the Muskogee Public Library. And it’s something to be admired, she said.
“I geek libraries. I visit libraries. I kind of eat and sleep libraries,” Bryant said.
And all Eastern Oklahoma District Library System libraries are kicking off an 18-month awareness event this month called “Geek the Library,” she said.
Geek the Library is a community-based public awareness campaign that highlights what people are passionate about and how libraries can support them.
“Part of the idea is awareness, to get people to understand their libraries are not extinct, not going away,” Bryant said. “But, they are changing. They’re not necessarily what people in the past thought of as a library.”
Muskogee’s Geek the Library Week begins at noon Saturday at Arrowhead Mall where they’ll be signing up people for library cards and asking them to fill out a survey until 3 p.m.
“And if they take a survey or sign up for a card, their name will go in a drawing for a $50 gift card to Arrowhead Mall,” Bryant said.
Then, from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce is doing a ribbon cutting to kick off Geek the Library Week. There also will be an open house and a reception with refreshments in the Grant Foreman room upstairs. All are invited, Bryant said.
From 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, the library is celebrating Amelia Bedelia’s birthday.
“We are geeking Amelia Bedelia, a famous book character because it’s her 50th birthday,” Bryant said. “So, we are going to have a birthday party in the children’s department.”
Area libraries will participate in community events to get the word out, Bryant said.
Fort Gibson’s Q.B. Boydstun Memorial Library also is kicking off Geek the Library this month.
Fort Gibson Mayor Steven Hill officially proclaimed Jan. 27, 2013 as Geek the Library Week.
The library will have special activities Monday through Friday next week.
On Monday, heart-shaped cutouts will be available for visitors to write on what they geek for display in the library.
From 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, there will be a geek celebration.
Wednesday is game day, including Bunco.
Thursday there will be regular story time for preschool children at 10 a.m.
“And since it is Backwards Day, we will have backwards activities for kids at 4 p.m.,” said Branch Manager Rhonda Lee. “Friday, we will take pictures for posters of what you geek.”
The Geek the Library campaign is funded through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Online Computer Library Center.
Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.