On Saturday, September 15, the fourth annual Samuels Public Library “Sami.Con” festival continued its theme of popular culture fantasy, sci-fi and wizardry with the “Fantastic Books – And Where to Find Them” takeoff on the Harry Potter offshoot hit movie “Fantastic Beasts – And Where To Find Them”.
Previous themes have tagged landmark and never-ending sequel series and movie engines from “Star Trek” with “Read Long and Prosper” for all you of Vulcan ancestry; to Star Wars-inspired “Discover the Force – of Your Library” for the Jedi in training; and the initial Marvel Comics superhero-themed “Discover the Power of Your Library Card”.
Costume tributes to, not only the current, but all previous themes were apparent in the costuming for the well-attended 2018 event.
The local Sami.Con takeoff on the national Comi.Con celebration of comic books impact on popular culture coincides with National Library Card Sign-Up Month – still in progress through the end of September.
The Bookmobile lands
Appropriately considering the technology-themed aspect of Sami.Con, a wizardly-attired Samuels Library Director Harold Hayes noted the presence at this year’s event of the Digital Bookmobile. The digital Bookmobile is a galactic emissary of Cleveland, Ohio-based “OverDrive” a subsidiary company of Tokyo-based Rakuten – how’s that for an intergalactic connection!
According to company officials in Cleveland base, Rakuten-OverDrive is the leading digital reading platform for over 40,000 libraries and schools worldwide, delivering the industry’s largest catalog of e-books, audio-books, magazines and other digital media.
“We want to get the word out – because many people are not aware we have this service through which you can upload e-books and audio-books through your phone or computer,” Hayes told this technological dinosaur.
“Huh,” the tech dinosaur replied.
However, a quick visit with the helpful “crew” of the Bookmobile situated strategically in the library landing zone, I mean parking lot, cleared things up – as much as things can be cleared up for someone still carrying what at best might be described as a semi-smart phone.
According to the literature available on the Bookmobile intergalactic vessel – at least it felt like the interior of an “Interstellar Overdrive” (with a nod to Pink Floyd) ship to this earthling – the “Libby” app enabling e-book and e-audio downloads is available “from your device’s app store”; part 2 – “Open the app and find your library … by name, city or zip code; part 3 – “Browse your library’s collection and borrow a title. When prompted sign in” – you’ll need your library card to complete this step; and part 4 – your borrowed titles appear on your “Shelf and download to the app automatically so you can read them when you’re offline.”
And for the technology-impaired for whom the free “Libby” app is not compatible with your device – “Libby” is available for Android, iOS and Windows 10 devices – do not lose hope! “If you can’t get “Libby” on your device, you can try using the original OverDrive app – for more help, visit <help.overdrive.com>
And may the force of all those fantastic beasts from a galaxy far, far away be with you, prospering for all eternity.
A Samuels shout out
Library officials acknowledged provision of the Lego Table pictured here, courtesy of the Shenandoah Discovery Museum in Winchester. Death Star Storm Troopers set up earth base camp at Legion Post 501 we were informed by sources.
A few of the other businesses and organizations library personnel said deserved a shout out are: Michaels of Front Royal who contributed supplies and staff to help attendees create wands and slime; Selah Theater who performed a Readers Theater from Beedle the Bard; Terry Fox with The Turning Point, who demonstrated making wooden wands and then gave them to attendees; Front Royal Brewing Company who made nonalcoholic butter beer for attendees; and Penguin Random House who donated many of the giveaways.
Funding for SamiCon comes from The Friends of Samuels Library.
“And that doesn’t even begin to cover the many volunteers and vendors, mostly local businesses who shared their time and talents. We were truly blessed to have so many different businesses and organizations come together to make this the most successful event to date with more than 3100 attendees as the final door count at the end of the day,” said Adult Reference Supervisor Kitti McKean.