When you hear about an otaku club at a public library, you probably think of a typical book club for people who read manga. The Lakewood Public Library has a different idea, however. Anime film screenings, cosplay, group projects, food, and more are all available at their Otaku Café.
Located on 15425 Detroit Ave in Lakewood, Ohio, the library runs what it calls an otaku café that goes above and beyond the call of duty by giving local visitors the best environment to indulge in their fandom that they could ask for. So, we’ve come to spotlight their efforts and let you know what your town is missing out on.
Where and When to Visit
Running from January to March, the otaku club meets every Friday afternoon at 3:30 in the main library’s multipurpose room. All teens in grades 6 through 12 are invited, as long as they fill out the proper registration form in advance.
Who, What and Why
The club has been gaining traction at a quick rate thanks to the many ways in which it accommodates and entertains the Ohioan otaku that make up its patronage. Its reputation has grown so much since opening that news outlets—even out of state ones—have taken notice.
Never ones to be left behind, Honey’s Anime reached out to the library and spoke to Children's and Youth Services Supervisor Kate Brennan-MacGregor who told us all about the program’s many points of interest.
She told us that the otaku cafe came about as a result of renovations that gave the library a spare room equipped with all the necessary conveniences for a group like this one, including a film projector to play anime shows and films to large audiences.
She also told us that the activities involved anime and manga viewing/reading groups with an interest in shared discussions. Their meetings also include workshops and crafts where the young fans learn skills essential to any card-carrying otaku like cosplaying or caring for bonsai trees.
Visitors are also served sushi and drinks to truly immerse themselves in the eastern experience, making their time with their fellow otaku and their favorite media all the more enjoyable.
Brennan-MacGregor was also happy to inform us that the meetings were all well attended by plenty of happy kids and run by co-ordinators who completely shared their passion for anime and manga.
“It’s a whole culture,” she said.
We were also given complete assurance that all the club material was screened beforehand to ensure everything remains age-appropriate, for all you parents reading this.
The Lakewood Public Library’s Otaku Café seems to be the ideal place for young fans of anime and manga to make friends, learn and have fun. While clubs similar to this one have existed for years in schools and the like, this is the first we’ve heard of a municipal library going to such lengths to create the perfect environment for all things weeby.
What do you think of the library’s otaku café? Is there something similar in your town that you’d like us to know about? Let us know in the comments below and stick to Honey’s Anime where we hope you’ll meet the same kinds of friends, learning, and fun as you would at this impressive café.