From the Library’s Press Release of May 19, 2017:
For the third year, Blount County Public Library is hosting a Mini-Con as the first event for this year’s summer reading program. Mini-Con will take place on Saturday, June 3, with doors opening at 9 a.m when people can register and get a Mini-Con armband. Events and activities will start at 10 a.m. and conclude with a Cosplay Contest at 4 p.m..
During the previous week, starting on Friday, May 26, and then continuing through July 31, all ages from infants up through teens and adults of any age, can register for the summer reading program by going to the library. The theme is “Build a Better World.” In addition to reading to win prizes, each of the age groups (adults, teens, children) can also participate in a summer-long reading activity as well as other events and programs.
Children up to fifth grade will have the opportunity to complete challenges that will build imagination and creativity. Multiple activities and challenges will lead to opportunity to win prizes.
Teens can keep a Challenge Journal that will help track points toward weekly drawings and a final grand prize of a Kindle Fire. Teens will also have the opportunity to join one of five “houses” to participate in a challenge entitled “The Conquest of Libraria.”
Adults will be able to pick up a Tic-Tac-Toe card to read and win weekly prizes and then a final grand prize. Adults will also be able to participate in the #BCPLHistoryHunt, a scavenger hunt designed to highlight some of the most important historical structures and locations in Maryville. There will also be weekly, monthly and grand prize drawings for adults.
For all age groups, there will be multiple special speakers and events throughout the summer. Special events, crafts and activities – including Mini-Con – are sponsored by the Blount County Friends of the Library.
For the first event, Mini-Con will be a full day of workshops, vendors, classes, speakers, activities, food and fun.
Throughout the Day
- Fencing demonstrations by the Knoxville Academy of the Blade (Reading Rotunda)
- Local authors selling and signing their books (Meeting Room Hallway & Main Gallery)
- Vendors selling everything from Steampunk gear to baked goods (Main Gallery)
- Adult Coloring: Take a break with some adult coloring (Reference)
- Check out a book from a variety of displays (Circulation & Children’s)
- Bubbles and sidewalk chalk near the Shakespeare Garden (Outdoors)
- The Smoky Mountain Ghostbusters will bring their Ecto-1 for people to see, as well as all of their gear (Parking Lot)
Arguably Most Important Highlights
- “Don’t Fear Dawn” writer and illustrator Robyn McCammon will be leading a “Make Your Own Comic” workshop for teens and adults.
- Thom Reed, owner of Miami Models and soon to be featured in the upcoming film “Encounters,” will screen a short film and discuss his family’s experience with the first UFO case ever recorded in United State history as “historically true.” Reed is a featured guest at DragonCon and will be the keynote speaker at Roswell’s 70th
- Newbery Award winning author Vince Vawter will speak about the writing process of going from Book #1 to Book #2 (it’s not for the faint of heart) and visualizing the illustrated novel.
- Cosplay Contest. At the end of the day, Mini-Con attenders can enter a cosplay contest with categories for all ages. Everyone is encouraged to come in their best costume for the chance to win prizes, a cool 3D printed trophy and bragging rights. The contest will be judged by the talented folks at Steps in Tyme Designs.
Hour by Hour Schedule
Library doors open; vendors will be set up and selling
Nerdy Storytime with Chelsea Tarwater, in the Children’s Library. Children interact with fun stories, move around, engage with music and hang out afterwards to do crafts and other activities.
Local Author Panel: A group of local authors who write in speculative fiction, romance and other genres will answer all the questions that you have about their writing process, publishing and gaining an audience. Authors include Michael David Anderson, KaLyn Cooper, J.K. Ensley, T.G. Franklin, Patricia Gilliam, Nan Klee, Rebecca McFarland Kyle and Leanne Tyler.
Character Design: Adding Character to Your Characters, with Annie Shorey, local artist, who has recently been invited to contribute to a new art zine for recently-released “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” The workshop will be focused on using colors, facial expression, clothing and backgrounds to emphasize your character’s personalities.
Children’s Department: Kids will have the opportunity to participate in fun, nerdy LEGO challenges, led by a member of Knox Makers.
Newbery Award winning author Vince Vawter will speak about the writing process of going from Book #1 to Book #2 (it’s not for the faint of heart) and visualizing the illustrated novel.
“Don’t Fear Dawn” writer and illustrator Robyn McCammon will be leading a “Make Your Own Comic” workshop for teens and adults.
Disney’s “Moana” movie. Enjoy a free screening of this movie.
Trivia Contest: Test your wits in a fun group Trivia Contest led by Blount County Public Library’s own Jeopardy winner Jennifer Spirko!
Free pizza and drinks – while supplies last.
Kids Try 3D Creations with the help of Thomas Proffen, founder of Oak Ridge Computer Science Girls (ORCS Girls)
Thom Reed, owner of Miami Models and soon to be featured in the upcoming film “Encounters,” will screen a short film and discuss his family’s experience with the first UFO case ever recorded in United State history as “historically true.” Reed is a featured guest at DragonCon and will be the keynote speaker at Roswell’s 70th anniversary.
Make a Blinking Robot. Knox Makers will teach a soldering class for teens and adults (ages 12 and up) that will leave them with a handmade, blinking robot. Space and supplies are limited, so make sure to get there early to claim a seat! [This will run in two sessions, one at 2:00 and one at 3:00]
Basic Coding: The Blount County Nerd Group will be showing kids some basic coding through Code.org’s Star Wars coding game. [This will run from 2:00 – 4:00 in the new Learning Lab, the separate building at Cusick Street)
Bam Pow Productions will be at the library’s Children’s Department for a character
Meet and Greet, where kids (and kids at heart) will get the chance to meet some of their
favorite heroes, villains and princesses.
The Smoky Mountain Ghostbusters will give a talk about the tools of their trade while also showing off some of their gear.
Star Wars Coding (continuing in the new Learning Lab, the separate building at Cusick Street)
Cosplay Contest: At the end of the day, Mini-Con attenders can enter a cosplay contest with categories for all ages. Everyone is encouraged to come in their best costume for the chance to win prizes, a cool 3D printed trophy and bragging rights. The contest will be judged by the talented folks at Steps in Tyme Designs.
Start planning now to help each family member wear a favorite character costume at this year’s fun-filled Mini-Con at the library.
Open to the public, this event is hosted by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville. For further information about library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit the Web site at www.blounttn.org/197.