Big conventions downtown like Gen Con and Indy PopCon can be a lot of fun, but they can also be expensive and intimidating for first-time con-goers. Luckily, the Johnson County Public Library has its own mini-con just for teens called Random Fandom where they can express their interests in fandoms such as Harry Potter and “The Lord of the Rings” to anime and Pokémon. This exciting and growing event is a great introduction to many of the activities found at larger cons paired with the benefits of a local scale.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday attendees can visit stations around the new Clark Pleasant Branch Library for activities celebrating fandoms of all kinds. In the Community Room, con-goers can participate in unique photo opportunities with Star Wars cosplayers from the Bloodfin Garrison of 501st Legion and superhero cosplayers from Once Upon a Princess from 2-3 p.m. Strike a pose and take a selfie or two by the Random Fandom backdrop as well.

Fledgling costumers are encouraged to suit up and compete in individual and group costume contests. Watch the contest in the Community Room starting at 3 p.m. The first-place winner will receive a $50 Visa gift card, and the second-place winner will receive a $25 Visa gift card.

Looking for some more physical activity? Stop by the STEAM Zone Robotics Learning Lab to create a lightsaber and participate in an epic battle with friends. Then, see how you measure up to Katniss in the archery challenge in the Youth Program Room. Use the library’s button maker to design original fandom accessories and participate in hands-on STEAM demonstrations.

Also, be sure to try the library’s Oculus Go VR goggles and create a lightning orb. In the teen area, search through a collection of free comic books featuring favorite characters and choose a few to take home. Play video games with friends in our comfy teen space, too. Stop by a craft station to color or make a themed craft. After a full afternoon of activity, enjoy a quick snack in the Community Room.

JCPL is excited to offer Random Fandom to teens in the community, and the best part of it all is that it’s free and local. Explore the exciting world of conventions and fandoms this Saturday. Parents, tell your teens. Teens, invite your friends and don’t forget to wear a costume!

Find more program details at

Kalen Jones is Children’s and Young Adult Materials Selector at Johnson County Public Library. JCPL staff members share in writing this bi-monthly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected]

By Admin