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West Virginia libraries participate in Geek the Library

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Forty-five West Virginia public libraries are participating in Geek the Library, a statewide community-based public awareness campaign coordinated by the West Virginia Library Commission that began in September.

In an effort to heighten awareness about funding issues public libraries face, the campaign highlights what people are passionate about and how libraries can support them.

The campaign's goal is to start a conversation about library funding and inspire more people to take personal responsibility for keeping their local public libraries vital in their communities; many people do not know that libraries are at risk or that local funding for libraries is heavily influenced by community members.

Introduced in the campaign is ‘geek,' a verb with an objective to inspire the public to talk about what they ‘geek,' whether it's engineering, superheroes or art. The public awareness campaign illustrates the fact that everyone is passionate about something, or ‘geeks' something.

The Geek the Library campaign also encourages community involvement.

Doddridge County Public Library Director Cathy Ash organized a successful "Geek the Library" event in West Union, W.Va. on September 20.

"We gave away megaphones with ‘Geek the Library' stickers on their sides and a bag of cheese puffs stuffed inside each one. We handed out 260 but could have given away many more." Ash and her Geek the Library staff also gave away tee shirts and balloons.

The campaign is supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.