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The Pioneer

Hayward Library to host Harry Potter-themed event

Archive Photo/The Pioneer

Archive Photo/The Pioneer

Tishauna Carrell,
Staff Writer

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This Friday, the Hayward Library will invite teenagers to recreate their favorite Harry Potter characters at a new event: Fandom Friday.

A “fandom” is a community composed of fans of a particular fictional series, person or sport. Fandom Friday was created by Hayward youth service librarian Annie Snell to allow teenagers to take a break from their studies through a creative outlet.

On Friday, participants will create a hedgehog, one of the characters from the popular Harry Potter series, as well as an creature egg from the books, while a Harry Potter movie plays in the background.

The library will host Fandom Fridays once a month, for an hour, with a different theme each time. Snell will decide the themes every month, which will be based on which movies are coming out and overall popularity, but she is also open to suggestions. This month’s event will have a Harry Potter theme.

The idea for Fandom Friday was originally presented to Snell by Hayward library supervisor Clio Hathaway at the recommendation of the Teen Advisory Group, three teenagers at the Hayward Library that advise the librarians on how to cater to teens.

“In this demanding world that they have, it’s stressful these days to be a teen,” said Snell. “I hear it all the time from them. I compare what they tell me to the time when I was a teen, and sometimes you need to have fun and not worry about stress.”

In 2015, Snell threw a Harry Potter-themed party at Weekes Hayward Library, which drew around 40 teens who came to the event dressed as their favorite characters, according to Snell. They partook in events that related to the seven-book Harry Potter series, such as making wands, a scavenger hunt around the library and jeopardy games.

Snell chose to bring the Harry Potter theme back for Fandom Friday based on the last event’s success and the resurgence of the series in the new prequel, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which was released on Nov. 10 and has grossed over $700 million, according to the Internet Movie Database. The Harry Potter franchise itself is worth $25 billion, according to Time.com.

Although Snell is familiar with other pop culture hits such as Doctor Who, Marvel and Star Wars, the word “fandom” is a relatively new term to her. “When I did the Harry Potter fest, I didn’t do it because it was a fandom, I did it because it was an interest to have a Harry Potter party,” said Snell. Fandom Friday will be free and strictly open to 7th-12th graders.

The event is funded by the library, which will provide $30 worth of art supplies, such as card stock paper, polymer clay, googly eyes, pipe cleaners and felt paper.

Fandom has inspired events such as Comic Con and fan fiction, a type of fiction writing where fans take characters from fictional books and re-create stories about them.

Although Comic Con and other events bring fans together, most often they’re limited to connecting through online communities.

“I think it’s important to establish that person-to-person interaction,” said Snell. “Building relationships is more important and valuable than social media.”

To stay up-to-date with the Fandom Friday themes and schedule, check out the Hayward Library’s calendar at www.Hayward-ca.gov.

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Hayward Library to host Harry Potter-themed event