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Teen Tomodachi Club


Do you or someone you know like manga? Those books you see people read backwards or watch anime? You may like Japan's culture and want to learn more about it, but you can only travel a little or may have little time. Do you feel you are the only one of your friends who likes Pokémon?

Well, I'm here to tell you that you are not alone. You can join a local club starting by visiting the Webster County library.

Leah Shelby, the Youth Services Librarian for the Webster County Library, attended a librarian convention where two fellow librarians discussed forming a Manga club. Shelby thought about it and saw a need for the youth in Webster County who like Japanese manga and culture. So she started the Manga club at the Marshfield branch of the Webster County Library this past November. During that meeting, the members renamed the club from "Teen Manga Club" to "Teen Tomodachi Club".

The word Tomodachi means friend or friends in Japanese, depending on the context. This word is fitting since there is a sense of fellowship when you attend the meetings.

With the membership being small right now, the meetings tend to jump around various topics, such as showing each other's artwork, creating comics, coloring, and having discussions on related news. The last meeting was held on Dec. 1, where members learned the different noodles used in Japanese cuisine.

Plans in the future include learning Japanese from a native in Webster County and exploring more about Japanese culture, including art. With enough members, it could expand to specific age groups.

"I am very excited to create a space for teens to share their love of Manga, art, and Japanese culture. It is a really cool opportunity to work with young artists and encourage them to encourage each other!" Shelby says, "I hope I can provide a welcoming environment for our teens to network & create. But, most importantly, I hope they leave feeling inspired."

If you are interested in joining the Tomodachi club, consider registering by visiting the Webster County Library's website: webstercounty.lib.mo.us. The club will meet the first Thursday of each month at 5 p.m.,and meetings last about an hour. New members are always welcome, and we look forward to seeing you next month!


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