West Side Mini-Con at Nanakuli Public Library

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From the Facebook event by The Last Outpost Hawaii

On November 3, 2018, the first-ever West Side Mini-Con at Nanakuli Public Library happened! The Last Outpost of Hawaii was the main organizer of the event, bringing in local vendors and artists. I went to help the public library but also to observe. Unfortunately there were many hiccups that I took this as a lesson on the pros and cons of having a pop culture event at the public library. Nevertheless, I enjoyed talking with the vendors and patrons who attended the event with gusto.

The library counted a little over 100 people who attended the four-hour event, from 12 pm to 4 pm. The library had a table outside promoting library services and books while their Friends of Nanakuli Public Library were fundraising by selling snacks and drinks. They’re a friendly group who value seeing the newest library in the Hawaii system flourish!

Pros:

  • Plenty of attendees were dressed up and happy a pop culture event like this was held in Nanakuli as many events are held in town, which can be over an hour drive with traffic.
  • Parents and kids were happy that the event was held at the public library. A few said they were able to check out books and have fun, making it a family fun day for them.
  • Due to the layout, it made attendees explore the meeting room (separate building from the library) as well as inside the library thus being able to experience everything.

Cons:

  • Schedule of panels kept changing/no official schedule given to attendees.
  • Attendees were asking who the “local celebrities” were as they weren’t properly headlined on the advertisements.
  • Tabletop room was crowded.
  • Miscommunication on all fronts, from vendors (an artist was told they were to do a talk but admitted they were not prepared due to not being told beforehand) to staff (there were plenty of helpful staff but due to the schedule changes, not everything was communicated well and had a domino effect leaving attendees unhappy) and online (3 different Facebook events were created for West Side Mini-Con causing discord).

For a first time event, it wasn’t too bad. The main thing is that the attendees had a good time. Despite the hiccups here and there, most families were happy that an event came to fruition while some expressed this could have been executed better.

Dungeons and Dragons Program

Success! For two consecutive Saturdays in October, the Aloha Adventurers Guild came to the library to teach the basics of Dungeons and Dragons to patrons. The goal was to encourage creativity, communication, and imagination when creating a character and going on an adventure. Needless to say, it was one of my favorite programs and I’m very happy with the Aloha Adventurers Guild. 10/10 would recommend! I would also like to thank and reference the American Library Association Games & Gaming Round Table for providing the juice to help fuel this program!

The first Saturday, the set-up included the following:

  • 4 areas comprised of 2 tables each. 2 areas were for new players/beginners, 1 area was for veteran players, and 1 area was for character creation and side quests aka Anything Goes.
    • Character creation/side quest arena was essentially the “Anything goes” sort of area. This table was useful for those who wanted to learn more about D&D, read character guides in-depth, test theories on character abilities/lore, and discuss without having a quest impeding the learning process.
      • Anything Goes area had a TV screen hooked up to a laptop. The maester of the area can use the TV to demonstrate techniques or show the character sheet and describe what each section is used for. The setup was also good to listen to YouTube videos on D&D.
    • Table markers were designated so those entering the room can check and go to the table they were most comfortable with. If unsure, a Guildmember would direct them.
  • In the middle was a small table for players to sign in for statistics but also if they wanted to subscribe to the Aloha Adventurers Guild newsletter for updates on their next game day events!
  • At fifteen minutes before ending time, a Dungeon Master/Game Master would alert the areas of impeding closure. This ensured the stories and discussions would draw to a close in a timely manner.
  • We had book displays! Books were available for players to borrow with their library cards. Plenty of Monster Manuals and Player Guides were borrowed both days.

The first Saturday we had close to 50 people. We played from 1 pm – 3 pm, 2 hours total.

Our second Saturday yielded less people (not quite close to 50) but enthusiastic players nonetheless! We had the same setup as before however we added an additional area. The guild advised that it would be best to gauge how many people would want to play a beginner adventure, a veteran adventure, or dabble in character creation so the last table was left up to the Guild to determine what should it be used for. We played the same amount of time, 2 hours from 1 pm – 3 pm.

Takeaways:

  • Two hours is the very bare minimum to host a D&D event. It would be preferable to go three to four hours however as the program was designed mainly for beginners, four hours seem very daunting. Should the program be successful and more consistent in terms of dates playing, three to four hours would be acceptable.
  • Table markers are our friends!
  • Whiteboards can be very useful when explaining game basics.
  • Costumes are not mandatory but always fun to have.
  • Kids as young as third grade were interested in playing with their parents. It brought into perspective the idea that D&D could be a family bonding game, thus breaking the mythos that the game is made for teens and adults only.
  • To differentiate the players from the Dungeon Masters and Advisors (2nd in command or assistants to the Dungeon Masters), I got kukui nut leis and glued polyhedral dice. It also helped the players in knowing who to ask for help.

Dungeons and Dragons “Don’t Split the Party!” List

Planning my fall programs and I’m super excited to say we’ll be hosting a Dungeons and Dragons program! I collaborated with my friend and this was the result, a resource list for both new and seasoned players ages 10 and up who are interested in Dungeons and Dragons.

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“Bwhahaha” Best pose! I’m ready for this! via giphy

I’m grateful that a local group of friends came together and created the Aloha Adventurer’s Guild. Their aim is to teach and guide players in creativity, communication and teamwork by playing tabletop gaming!

To note, the listing of stores are located on Oahu only. I hope one day to visit all game-related stores through the islands!

What is Dungeons and Dragons?
DnD, for short, is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game set in an imaginary world loosely based on medieval myth.

Why 5th Edition?
The 5th Edition of DnD gives flexibility and functionality to players while making room for more creativity. The aim is to create a unified edition that both seasoned and new players can enjoy.

Browse these non-fiction sections for more at the library:
Indoor Amusements: 793
Adventure Games: 793.932

Authors of Dungeons and Dragons Novels:

  • Norton Andre
  • Richard Baker
  • Bruce Robert Cordell
  • Troy Denning
  • Erin M. Evans
  • Tracy Hickman
  • Paul S. Kemp
  • A. Salvatore
  • Robert J. Schwalb
  • Lisa Smedman
  • Margaret Weis

Online Resources:
Wizards of the Coasthttps://bit.ly/1CM4pXY
Introduces DnD to new players. Official resource and website related to DnD.

Dungeon Masters Guild http://www.dmsguild.com/
Official source for Dungeon Masters.

DnD Adventurers Leaguehttps://bit.ly/2AXMWqR
Official DnD league offering materials and support running games.

DnD Beyond https://www.dndbeyond.com/
Includes useful tools such as character generators.

RPG Toolhttps://roll20.net/
Easy-to-use digital tool that can evolved from pen and paper.

5th Edition Rules/Reference – https://5thsrd.org/
Open rules related to 5th edition. Players are suggested to refer to start with Player’s Handbook.

Local Stores on Oahu:
Check out these stores to get your Dungeons and Dragons adventure started!

Armchair Adventurer
Dole Cannery, 650 Iwilei Road #160
Honolulu, HI 96817        Phone: (808) 843-1250
Carries everything from Warhammer 40k model kits to pop culture-inspired tabletop games. Book a separate room or join a game and meet new adventurers!

Dragon’s Lair
Space E-10, 95-1840 Meheula Parkway
Mililani, HI 96789           Phone: (808) 597-6981
Comic book store carrying Dungeons and Dragons manuals, dice, and kits. Check out their large comic book selection to get you inspired!

Other Realms
1130 North Nimitz Highway C-140
Honolulu, HI 96817        Phone: (808) 596-8236
From private rooms to comics and collectibles, Other Realms has a large stock to get your adventure started!

Westside Comics
590 Farrington Highway #538
Kapolei, HI 96707          Phone: (808) 674-2866
It isn’t just comics this shop sells on the west side, check out their Elite Membership program to earn points to grab special deals!

Hearts for All – A Romance Booklist

Love is in the air!

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Kagome and Inuyasha denying the attraction via giphy

A booklist on romance, relationships, and friendship! Recommended for 6th – 12th graders. 

Non-Fiction:
155.519 Ch
Chapman, Gary. Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages. Includes a straightforward guide on the 5 love languages and practical tips for how to apply each language in a teen’s context.

306.73 Ea
Eastham, Chad. The Truth about Breaking Up, Making Up, & Moving On. Explains why some people find happiness and others heartache, when to break up and when to make up. A Christian faith-based relationship guide.

Fiction:

Albertalli, Becky. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical but when his secret is at risk of being exposed, Simon must decide what to do about a cute guy and his friends.

Cass, Kiera. The Siren. Forced to work as a Siren and lure strangers to their deaths after being rescued from drowning by the Ocean, Kahlen falls in love with a human and defies the rules of her service in order to follow her heart.

Nakano, Hitori. Train Man: The Novel or Densha Otoko. An instant bestseller when it was first published in Japan, Train Man became a multimedia sensation, generating a smash-hit TV series, a blockbuster film, and multiple manga series. Now here’s the novel that started it all.

Niven, Jennifer. Holding Up the Universe. A boy with face blindness and a girl who struggles with weight fall in love.

Silvera, Adam. History Is All You Left Me. Secrets are revealed as OCD-afflicted Griffin grieves for his first love, Theo, who died in a drowning accident.

Yoon, Nicola. Everything Everything. A girl confined to her house by rare and profound allergies falls hopelessly in love with her new neighbor, in a story told through vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists and illustrations.

Popular YA Romance Series:

  • Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han
  • A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori (Graphic Novel)
  • The Glittering Court series by Richelle Mead
  • Honey So Sweet series by Amu Meguro (Graphic Novel)
  • If I Stay series by Gayle Forman
  • Kamisama Kiss by Julietta Suzuki (Graphic Novel)
  • The Selection series by Kiera Cass
  • The Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han

Popular YA Romance Authors:

  • Jenny Han
  • Rachel Cohn
  • Maurene Goo
  • Rainbow Rowell
  • Sarah Dessen
  • Kami Garcia
  • Deb Caletti
  • Kiera Cass
  • Aylson Noel
  • Stephanie Perkins
  • David Leviathan
  • Richelle Mead
  • Nicola Yoon

Compiled from Novelist and Amazon.

Cosplay Your Heart Out!

We had a successful turnout at our first ever Cosplay program!

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The wonderful Jen F., the Artist Librarian presented on:

  • The definition of Cosplay
  • Her Cosplay progression
  • Cosplay planning (time, budget, accuracy)
  • Creation versus Purchasing
  • Props
  • Resources
  • Local conventions Cosplayers meet

I was enraptured and impressed by our presenter. Her love of Cosplay grew from her hobby of sewing! Our library is very grateful for having a Cosplay program possible this summer and based on the positive feedback received, I would definitely be open to hosting the program again. I highly recommend having Jen present on Cosplay. She reads the crowd easily, goes into detail, answers questions, and is knowledgeable in many aspects of this niche art.

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Learning Outcomes
I feel our patrons were able to be exposed to a different pop culture niche. Cosplay has been increasingly popular in the U.S. to the point of people becoming professional Cosplayers, creating and modeling their own creations for conventions and publishers. At several conventions I’ve attended, there are panels on Cosplay that normally you can only enter with a paid ticket however our library was able to offer this informative panel for free. Attendees learned feasible ways of planning their Cosplay with the understanding that anyone can dress up! From accurate-on-the-spot renditions to crossplay to genderbending cosplay, there’s something for everyone.

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I’m itching to cosplay again. *Looks at cosplay-less closet* In due time, in due time. Following Jen’s tip, gotta plan it first!