Geek Gaming Day

Tuesday was “Geek Gaming Day” at the Minot High School-Magic City Campus Library, as seniors Erin Richards and Quintin Kragh faced down over a game of Battleship.

The entire week is devoted to geeking out over things that the students are passionate about, from music to the paranormal.

School library media specialist John Scheeler said the week-long celebration is in honor of National Library Month. The “geek” theme is borrowed from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation but the students have made it their own.

Scheeler asked students to write down a few words about their geek passions, which are posted on a bulletin board outside the school library.

One boy wrote that he is geeky over Japanese anime and manga. Another likes puns. A girl likes fireflies. Other kids said they geek out about different sports.

“The goal is to connect the library collection to students’ information needs, and to help students connect with other students who have similar interests and passions,” said Scheeler.

Scheeler said the “geeking out” writings also help him get to know the students better. The next time a book comes in that is about a student’s particular interest, he can suggest that the student check out that book.

“I hope to draw kids who never come into the library,” said Scheeler.

Scheeler said it can be a challenge to persuade students more familiar with text messaging and surfing the Internet to read traditional texts, particularly if it’s a non-fiction book, even though print books often contain information that is more detailed and goes into more depth than a brief encyclopedia article online.

“Kids will opt for something online before they opt for a print book,” said Scheeler.

Scheeler said students are still comfortable checking out a print book if it’s fiction but he’d like to persuade more kids to see all the resources that the library has to offer.

This week during Geek Week, kids had the opportunity to learn about aviation on Monday when members of the Minot Aircraft Modelers club brought in a variety of aircraft models to display and demonstrate. Students also competed in a paper airplane contest.

On Tuesday, during “Geek Gaming Day,” students tried out board games and video games. A video game tournament was held after school.

Today is “Geek Reading Day.” Scheeler is encouraging all teachers at the school to let students do independent reading during the first 15 minutes of their class period. That is already a regular part of the school day on Wednesdays at Magic City Campus. Once they start reading a book, Scheeler said students are more likely to want to finish it.

“We’re really going to try to get everybody reading,” said Scheeler.

Thursday is “Geek Guitars Day.” Students will be invited to bring their guitars to the library and jam. Zach Schultz from Jacobsen’s Music will bring in a variety of guitars for display in a kind of “guitar petting zoo,” said Scheeler. The band “Echo’s Answer” will perform a concert in the school over the noon lunch period.

Friday will be “Geek the Paranormal Day.” Popular novels featuring zombies and vampires will be highlighted and members of the Magic City Campus Thespians troupe, along with Miranda Nichols, a make-up artist from Artistry, will make up students’ faces to look like their favorite vampire or zombie characters. A movie about teenage zombies called “Warm Bodies” will be shown after school.

“It’s warm, but sweet,” said Scheeler.

Scheeler said some kids’ interest in the paranormal leads them to check out classic novels like Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” or Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.”

“Geek the Library” is a campaign sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in support of public libraries. The Magic City Campus Library Media Center was given special permission to use their theme and promotional materials.