Scott Ball / Rivard Report
BiblioTech West, also known as the Dr. Ricardo Romo Branch of the all-digital library system, will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a ComicCon on Saturday, Aug. 6, at Last Chance Ministries on the Westside.
ComicCon, which will run from 12-5 p.m., is free, open to the public, and includes activities that appeal to all age groups, ranging from a cosplay contest to a green screen photo booth and an array of 14 vendors and artists, some of whom will lead free workshops. The event will celebrate books, movies, television shows, graphic novels, comic books, and video games – all of which are offered for free at all BiblioTech branches or online through the digital library.
Located in the heart of the Westside, the Ricardo Romo BiblioTech is focused on attracting nearby families to the event, but residents from all over San Antonio are welcome to attend. Branch Manager Jesse Garcia expects about 1,500 people on Saturday.
“Our mission is to share knowledge of hardware and software with people who don’t normally get that,” he said. “We wanted to bring the celebration of movies and video games and that kind of culture to the Westside.”
Exposing newcomers to art and technologies of the comic con culture could help them “open up their realm of possibilities,” Garcia added.
From 12-12:30 p.m., artist Rick Brooks will lead a cartooning workshop for all ages. The former teacher at Harris Middle School on the Westside created a comic strip called Mr. Morris and will teach attendees how to design their own.
Professional DJ Sephi Hakubi will teach attendees about music production from 1-2 p.m. and will play electronic dance music from 3-5 p.m.
At 2:30 p.m., actor, independent filmmaker, and artist Preston Corbell will screen his short horror film The Name I Know. After the seven-minute feature, he’ll give a brief lecture before answering audience questions.
In addition to the workshops, vendors such as Table Top Gaming, Topsy Turvy Craft Boutique, San Antonio Cosplayers, Chibi Essence, and Adam C. Rivera’s Sketchbook will have booths set up at the event.
The Ricardo Romo BiblioTech, named after the president of University of Texas at San Antonio, is the second full-service BiblioTech branch, and the first digital library in the nation located in public housing. From within the Gardens of San Juan Square, the library acts as a model for reducing intergenerational poverty and promoting the success of kids who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
The library allows locals to access the same books available at traditional libraries through digital e-readers which can be checked out for two weeks at a time.
(Read more: BiblioTech Expands Its Reach to the Westside)
It’s important for kids to be exposed to all sorts of cultural outlets and events, Garcia said, but ComicCon is the type of event that ties in well with the resources that the digital library offers: study rooms, computer rooms, and an interactive table with hundreds of games that teach music, math, and puzzles at various grade levels.
“We are proud to be able to provide an event where (families on the Westside) can learn more about these forms of media and engage in fun family activities,” he said.
Top image: The front of the newest BiblioTech on the Westside. Photo by Scott Ball.