By DAVID EGE
Free Comic Book Day was created in 2002 in an effort to get more customers into retail comic book stores. The first Saturday in May was established as the annual day for the event. Retailers across the nation offer free comics and coordinate large fan events; they have artist signings and costume contests to draw in crowds. Many comic book publishers offer special edition comics to support the retailers who promote the hobby.
For the past three years, the San Diego Public Library has partnered with local comic book publisher, IDW, to distribute free comic books to our communities. All of our libraries hold special programs including Superhero Storytimes, How-To Draw Superheroes Classes, Costume Contests and Superhero Crafts. The program has been growing with each year with 2,100 comic books given away in 2017, 2400 comic books given away in 2018 and 3500 given away in 2019.
This year, we had to find creative ways to get the comic books into the hands of our patrons. IDW Publishing graciously provided 5,000 comic books to give away. The library partnered with the city’s Parks & Rec Department to deliver the books to San Diego school sites that provide meals to school children.
The comic books were distributed to the kids along with their meals and it was a wonderful feeling to see their smiling faces. We also sent a box of comic books to the San Diego Convention Center to provide reading material for Operation Shelter to Home. We are so proud that during times like this we can all work together to pool our resources and support each other in continuing to provide our services to the citizens of San Diego.
Unfortunately, due to health concerns, all other library programs for the month of May have been canceled.
— David Ege is managing librarian of the San Carlos Library.