Are you a Slytherin or a Gryffindor?’  Would you rather hang out with B or S or J?’  Which would you rather be, a vampire or a werewolf?

Fandom, according to Wikipedia, is “a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of sympathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest.” You’d think wikipedia would be a little less dry…

Fandom happens when you love a book so much you cannot stop thinking about it. You want to discuss minute details with other fans.’  You want to immerse yourself in its world, maybe even dress like the characters dress and live like the characters live.’  Fandom happens when you’re so intrigued by a world that you start thinking of other stories that could take place in it.

It’s all of these things, and more.

At its heart, fandom is about being passionate, and fandom — particularly fandom about books — is proof against the naysayers who say books are dying out.

Come to the YA Lit Symposium to learn more!

Fandom, Fan Life, and Participatory Culture (or, as Carlie likes to call it: “I’ve never met a British werewolf,” said Jacob Black to Remus Lupin”)

A teen’s experience with a book doesn’t just begin on page one and finish with the book’s conclusion. From birthday parties and proms to fan fiction and role-playing games, teens find many ways to recreate a book’s universe in their lives, forming fandoms. Avid fandomers Liz Burns and Carlie Webber will demystify the weird and wonderful world of fandom and show you how to use the elements of participatory culture to plan interactive, teen-friendly programs for your libraries and classrooms. Included on the panel will be a representative from Narrate Conferences, Inc., an organization that plans Harry Potter symposia. Speaker: Liz Burns, Carlie Webber.

See you in November! And remember, you still have a couple of days to take advantage of the Early Bird Special!

About Liz Burns

Liz is the Youth Services Consultant for the New Jersey State Library's Library for the Blind and Handicapped. Liz is active in YALSA and in the YA Services Section of the New Jersey Library Association. She was a member of the 2009 Michael L. Printz Award Committee. Along with co-author Sophie Brookover, she wrote Pop Goes the Library: Using Pop Culture To Connect With Your Whole Community, published in 2008 by Information Today. Liz blogs at Pop Goes the Library ( and Tea Cozy ( She holds an MLIS from Rutgers University, SCILS, and a JD from Villanova Law School, Villanova University. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is her favorite television show. Ever. Her favorite book is... well, it's impossible to pick just one. Or two. Or ten.

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