This past weekend, I attended a Twilight convention. Before you roll your eyes and begin muttering "crazy fanatic" under your breath, let me reassure you. There actually was a wide range of people in attendance (from teens to much older people) and although there were definitely more women there, there were some male fans present. The majority of the people I met at the event were polite and pleasant. (I only met two women that were obnoxious and vulgar that made me ashamed - thankfully I didn't have to be near them for long.) There were people around that were primarily book fans and others who focused more on the movies, and the company that ran this convention (Creation Entertainment) did an excellent job of catering to as many different interests as possible. They had celebrity guests, trivia contests, merchandise auctions, a few panels by some devoted and delightful people (The Hillywood Show and The Twilight Lexicon), karaoke and a fancy dance. I had feared (based on past experience at another convention) that it would be chaos, but the event was well run, with short, manageable lines and clear rules.
So, what does this have to do with libraries or school libraries? This convention made me consider how we, who love books, can channel the love that many readers have for their favourite series into a celebration. We are lucky in Ontario that we have the Festival of Trees, where young readers can gather in their mutual love of the Silver Birch, Red Maple, Blue Spruce, Hackmatack and White Pine nominees. Then, there are the midnight promotions run by bookstores. The local Chapters near me is having a midnight release party for Mockingjay, the third book of the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. I love Hunger Games and will definitely get my book then, even if I don't stick around for the community building and activities offered by the store. However, both of these celebrations take time, manpower, and money. Maybe it's important that these sort of opportunities only happen once a year, to keep them special. If so, I'll have to look into whether they'd do a "Twilight school club discounted rate" for the next Twilight conference that comes to town.