Submitted by Valetta Canon
Fort Scott Public Library held its very first LibraryCon event on July 20, from 10 am to 2 pm at the library. It began with cookie decorating for kids with Martha Scott as Tabitha Twitchett. Children painted cookies, let them dry while listening to a story, and then consumed their masterpieces.
Meanwhile, local authors Cathy Werling and James Collins began speaking with people downstairs, with Werling helping kids make little “buckets” to fill with kindness, in her ongoing quest to help children realize they can be everyday heroes.
Collins shared some of his humor and interesting observations, for which his book is known, and both authors sold several books throughout the day.
Meanwhile, Professor Allen Twitchell, dressed as historical figure Alan Quatermain, kept incoming attendees entertained.
Some people stopped by a photo station to have their pictures taken with various props or to play games from different fandoms. Many attendees grazed on chocolate molds of famous movie and television show icons, cheese balls, gummy lifesavers, and superhero graham cookies, served at the refreshments table. Also served was cold bottled water, donated by G & W Cash Saver of Fort Scott.
Upstairs, Dominic Cannon and Jo Goodbody manned a tabletop gaming table, and at 10:30 am, Susan Messer began a Children’s Literature Trivia session, which covered 20 questions on the topic and lasted for an hour. In the end, Jayce Warner won, receiving a trophy and prize.
In the young adult book area, 11-year-old Ashley Cannon, dressed as a character named Pidge from the animated series, Voltron, led kids in several anime-related activities, including the game “Name That Pokémon,” a foam Poké Ball craft, and a Voltron helmet craft.
In the children’s room, Taylor Qualls, dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and 9-year-old Kaylee Cannon, dressed as Joy from the movie “Inside Out” led children to color bookmarks and coloring pages, and to make a covered rose craft. They were also invited to build something with piles of building blocks or to play with a cardboard space shuttle control center and the space shuttle, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
Soon after the cookies were cleaned up, a tea party began with the Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, Alice, and the White Rabbit in attendance.
Children chose between hot and cold tea and a variety of shortbread cookies, then listened to an abbreviated Alice in Wonderland story read by the Queen of Hearts, played by Angela Bin. Levi Bin played the Mad Hatter, Emma Bin was Alice, and the White Rabbit was played by Brooklyn Miller.
Many of the tea party attendees came upstairs after the party for the kid’s activities, most of whom decided to participate in Miss Val’s digital scavenger hunt, which challenged teams to photograph everything listed for the hunt in 15 minutes or less. Two teams tied for the win.
At 12:45 pm, a group of kids, teens, and one adult lined up in the downstairs computer room to show off their LibraryCon costumes for the library’s first costume contest.
First, six children in the ages 0 – 11 years category paraded before judges Angela Bin, Allen Twitchell, and Brenda Buehler. Madalynn Miner was the winner, with her Little Red Riding Hood costume.
Next, three in the ages 12 – 17 years category showed off their costumes, with Jo Goodbody taking home a trophy and prize for his king costume. Finally, one adult, Taylor Qualls, claimed her prize for her Belle outfit.
Also winning trophies and prizes were Kaylee Cannon for Most Unique Costume, Brooklyn Miner for Funniest Costume, and Kimberly McBoon for Most Beautiful Costume.
Soon after, upstairs, Allen Twitchell led a round of sports trivia, for which Brenda Buehler won the trophy and prize.
At 1 p.m., Professor Harold Hicks began a creative writing workshop with a group of young people in the event room, and at 1:30, Professor Allen Twitchell led a workshop upstairs on how to create a historical character.
The library staff have declared this first installment of LibraryCon a success, based on participation and attendee feedback, and plan to hold an event next year, likely around the same time of year.
If you are interested in being a guest author or artist, speaker or volunteer, or would like to donate prizes, food, etc. for the event, please contact the library at (620)223-2882, visit in person, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.