The Pasco County Library System is hosting its seventh annual "Library, Anime and Manga Enthusiasts Convention" this weekend. LAMEcon is a free convention that aims to make pop culture accessible to everyone, no matter how much money they have.
Paul Stonebridge, the teen services manager for the Pasco County Library System, said the Tampa Bay area hosts a number of great conventions, like Metrocon, but not everyone can afford to attend them.
"Many people can't afford to travel to Tampa, can't afford to pay the $50 to get in the door,” Stonebridge said. “Those are great conventions, but for those who long to go and cant, we can bring it to them."
There will be vendors for attendees who want to purchase collectibles.
Stonebridge said libraries have evolved beyond being just a place to check out books.
"The libraries want to be accessible to everyone and we thought, 'Well, this is part of what our people want,’” Stonebridge said.
“Libraries especially nowadays to stay relevant, we have to meet the needs of all people, from all spectrums, from all walks of life so one of the big things, of course, is this interest in pop culture and comics and anime and things like that."
Aside from LAMEcon, the system hosts an annual "Battle of the Bands" and regular gaming nights, anime club meetings, knitting classes and more. For those who just want to curl up in a quiet place with a good book, Stonebridge said there are multiple study rooms available for just that.
LAMEcon is this Saturday at the Land O' Lakes Recreation Complex, 3032 Collier Parkway, and Sunday at the Land O' Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway. There will be gaming, robotics demonstrations, maid cafes and, weather permitting, an outdoor Nerf Gun arena.
The library expects nearly 2,000 attendees this year.