Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Features

July 19, 2011

Fairgoers Flaunt What they Geek

Greensburg — So what do you Geek? That was the question staff from the Greensburg/Decatur County Public Library asked as people walked past their booth at the Decatur County Fair.

But Geek does not mean what most think it means. Here, Geek is not an insult, but a verb used to describe something someone is passionate about. Something libraries want to help people find.

The Geek the Library Campaign is a national campaign to raise awareness about their local libraries, and the important place they hold in a community. With library budgets being cut across the country, the Geek the Library campaign hopes to educate people about what is offered at libraries and how much they are needed.

At this year's booth, library staff encouraged fairgoers to think about what they "Geek,"  and how their local library can help them learn more about it. To do this, they had to think outside the box. Passersby were urged to pick up a white board, write down what they "Geek" be it anything from astronomy to farming to history. They then sat down and had their picture taken with their board, proudly proclaiming what they geek to the world (or at least the fair.) Their picture was then added to a giant collage also located at the booth. Library employee Jenn Meadows, was particularly excited about the booth.

"People get to share what they geek. It's a really great conversation starter, it brings people in to learn about us and what we do," Meadows said. "There's a shock value, it catches people off guard when you ask to take a picture of them."

While it sounds simple, this booth is no easy place to run. Not only do the librarians talk to people, explain the whole "Geek" concept and take pictures, they also operate their own equipment, printing out the pictures and keeping everything moving and working. They also kept up with handing out stickers, bookmarks, bags, and lots and lots of library information.

Despite all that, library director Andrea Ingmire was thrilled about both the booth and the community's enthusiasm.

"People are really excited about getting pictures taken and telling us what they geek," she said. "It's been really busy!"

As more and more people shared what they love (gardening, reading, softball), the wall continued to fill up with parents, kids, couples and teens rushing over to share their passions.

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