We had the good fortune of connecting with Moni Barrette and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Moni, what do you attribute your success to?
Absolutely the key and most important component to the success and rapid growth of Creators, Assemble! has been our network. From the in-house team: Board members, committees, volunteers; to the literally global network of creators, TTRPG community, comics enthusiasts, educators, librarians, pop culture fans, publishers, other nonprofits…we’ve had no shortage of assistance and support! From day one we’ve found ourselves blown away by how quickly and thoroughly folks have wanted to get involved with Creators, Assemble! in some capacity.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was a public librarian for almost 20 years before transitioning full time into promoting comics and pop culture. Myself and a small group of like-minded librarians and teachers worked hard to bring “comics librarianship” to legitimacy: Convincing publishers and retailers to work with us, conventions to invite us, teachers and librarians that comics and games belong in education, and the industry overall to see the value we bring. I’ve learned to follow my passion, and mentor other librarians to do the same (it doesn’t have to be comics-find what you love and connect your community to it, with pizzaz!). I’ve also learned the importance of never giving up, and of networking!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
That’s a hard one in this area, we live where people dream of vacationing! I guess for me, I do try to convert many of my non-geeky friends to find something to love in comics conventions. There’s nothing better than San Diego Comic Con, right by the bay, in the summertime! From costumes, art, people watching, food, and beyond the convention entertainment, it’s definitely a bucket list adventure.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
At the risk of not being specific enough – We’ve had SO much support I would be loathe to leave anyone out! – I might have to say the geek and pop culture industry at large. From other nonprofits in the San Diego area (you know who you are!) to the teams behind local comics conventions, the comics publishers who trust us with their wonderful books, and the entire TTRPG community. We literally couldn’t be here without everyone involved, and no matter what the future brings, this network of like-minded folks will always exist. It’s a comforting thought in these uncertain times.