Teen Librarian Toolbox
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Cindy Crushes Programming: Random Fandom, a Conversation with Linden Galloway, by Teen Librarian Cindy Shutts

Hello All, I am here with my coworker Linden Galloway. We are going to talk about a fun program Linden came up with called Random Fandom.

We did not have a lot of people the first time but the teens who came were so excited that we want to do this program again!

Cindy: Linden, how did you come up with the idea?

Linden: Everyone has a fandom soapbox to stand on, and I think teens don’t get the chance to share their thoughts often enough. I came up with questions like “What’s your favorite fandom trope?” and “Which character would you most like to cosplay?” to start conversations on fandom with the teens and encourage them to speak their minds. My fellow teen librarian came up with the title Random Fandom for my program idea, and from there I thought it would be fun to randomize the questions by rolling a 20-sided die.

Cindy: I loved how many conversations were started during this program.  I really love talking fandoms with the teens. What fandoms did you think our teens were most interested in?

Linden: Before the program, I thought the teens would be into a lot of fantasy books and shows, since I know the teens at my branch love Dungeons and Dragons. As it turns out, the teens who attended LOVE anime, which is awesome because we have tons of upcoming anime programs that we got to tell them about!

Cindy: My favorite question was what fandom shaped your morals. What were your favorite questions we asked the teens?

Linden: When I asked “What or who got you into fandom?” It was really funny because the teens who attended were siblings, and both claimed to have gotten the other started on anime! I was really excited to ask them “What’s the most underrated/overhyped fandom?” because a lot of people have strong opinions on that topic.

Cindy: What Tips would you give to librarians trying this program?

Linden: Attendance has not been high for most of our programs on Zoom, so if I did this program again I would definitely market it in a more targeted way. There are plenty of places teens who are into fandom might go in person and see a flier, so for a virtual program I would think about virtual spaces where teens might like to find information on Random Fandom.

Cindy: That is so true. It is hard to get teens to zoom. We know there is zoom burnout happening. Thank you Linden for chatting with me.

Program overview: Use a 20 sided dice and answer the fandom based that corresponds with the number on the dice. We had twenty premade questions ready to go. This is a discussion based program.

Cindy Shutts, MLIS

Cindy is passionate about teen services. She loves dogs, pro-wrestling, Fairy tales, mythology, and of course reading. Her favorite books are The Hate U Give, Catching FIre, The Royals, and everything by Cindy Pon. She loves spending times with her dog Harry Winston and her niece and nephew. Cindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL and she’ll be joining us to talk about teen programming. You can follow her on Twitter at @cindysku.

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