Marion County Public Library begins ‘geeking’ out

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By Stephen Lega


At my high school alma mater, if you did something like dropped your tray in the cafeteria or tripped and fell, you could expect to hear the student chorus chime in. I have a vague memory of getting “geeked” one time. I was embarrassed at first, then put it behind me.

Looking back, it was probably not the most mature behavior for high school students. And unfortunately, some people had a harder time than others brushing off their “geeking.”

I never completely understood why “geeking” was part of my alma mater’s culture, and I kind of hope that it no longer is, given the negative connotations of “geek” in that context.

On the other hand, geek culture has come into its own, and I’ve come to learn that many people openly embrace their geekdom as a positive thing. Rather than seeing a “geek” as someone awkward with strange interests, the new geeks (should we call them neo-geeks?) are claiming the word as a term of pride.

It seems that geeks now exist for anything you can think of - anime, comic books, LARPing, robotics, science fiction, even something called steampunk, which I don’t exactly understand.

There is even a website called TDW Geeks (The Daily What: Geeks), devoted to compiling tidbits that may be of interest to geeks of all stripes. Anymore, it seems like I check it almost every day. I’m not interested in everything posted on the website, but I am interested in enough things that the visits are worthwhile. Our local library is taking this new geek-positive perspective and running with it. Regular visitors to the library will have already seen the posters hung through the building, but recently, the library kicked off its Geek the Library program.

For the purpose of the program, geek is defined as follows:

1. To love, to enjoy, to celebrate, to have an intense passion for.

2. To express interest in.

3. To possess a large amount of knowledge in.

4. To promote.

Under this definition, you can geek anything. You probably know someone who is a UK basketball geek, who can recite every starting five for the last 40 years. You may even know some music geeks, who can not only identify artists, but also what kinds of instruments they used. (I don’t just mean that they know someone is a guitar player, but rather they know what brand of guitar a particular artists uses.)

With that in mind, the library wants to know what you geek. No doubt, this is also a way to promote the library, which is the perfect place for anyone to find out more about any interest they may have.

Between books, CDs, DVDs and computers, the library is a one-stop shop for learning. If you haven’t been to the library in a while, it’s worth a visit. 

The internet has certainly put a world of information at our fingertips, and because of this, many people have preferred to hunt down information online.

But sometimes we could all use a little help, and our local librarians are happy to point people in the right direction.

If you’d like to geek out about something that interests you, you could visit www.geekthelibrary.org, but if you can, I’d recommend stopping by the library instead.