Blogger Erika Hogan

Mini Cons: Genre and Fandom Programs

Enthusiastic fandom casts a spell that’s almost contagious. While genre celebrations often seem associated teen and adult fans, mini cons can hold appeal for all ages. Like a lot of library staff, I love reader’s advisory. Young patrons have so many interests and aspirations. Adventurers, gamers, future scientists, sports fans, magic enthusiasts, animal lovers, and more. Lately I’ve begun looking for ways for that energy to fuel my programming. How? Mini cons!

I’ve tried out afterschool programs that blend games, crafts, activities, fiction and nonfiction books, and more to celebrate various themes to try to create mini con moods. Some of the mini cons I’ve worked on so far centered pop culture themes like Scoob Fest, and May the Fourth (Star Wars), Scary Stories, and fairy tales. Others have involved popular topics more broadly like unicorns (uni-con) and cats (mini kitty con). With everything from voting on fan favorite characters to highlighting new work in the genre, the fervor of fandom has been a joy. There have even been folks that attend in costume! Generated around topics that meet local interest are wonderful, and it’s a treat to lean into themes you’re already enthusiastic about. Look for ways to create an immersive environment when possible, and prepare for fun.

Star Wars Stormtroopers on a Bike

I’ve found that a sense of immersion, collaboration, and timing have helped guide the most successful mini con programs. Simple steps to break up the day-to-day make a difference. Encouraging staff to wear themed pins or silly selfie-stations contribute to an inviting at mosphere. The benefits of fandom inspired programs are plentiful, such as enhancing social emotional skills and creating innovative opportunities to collaborate with community partners. Ready to get started with your genre celebration? Check out these tips from a Public Awareness Committee bLogger about fan-ing the flames of fandom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *