Nerdfighters of Waupaca Unite!

Holy Crap! That’s John Green in Wisconsin!!!

In 2010, the Waupaca Area Public Library held a Book Festival in which major authors were invited to speak to the community. The teen department, aka “The Best Cellar,” chose to invite John Green, author of Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines, The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, and co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson.  Unfortunately, I was not the Teen Services Librarian at the time and thus, missed his visit (*shucks*…especially since he no longer does library visits… *double shucks*).  John made a huge impact on this community; since his visit, Waupaca (especially the teens) have become MAJOR John Green fans.

When I interviewed for the position of Teen Services Librarian for the Waupaca Area Public Library, I had no idea that he had visited, let alone made such a profound impact on the community; so, when I was asked to booktalk a YA book that I enjoyed, I chose An Abundance of Katherines because, at the time, it was my favorite book and I knew that it was one that I could really “sell” to both boys and girls. I got the job and I have now been working for WAPL for roughly 8 months. I am not saying that I owe my job to John Green, but I do think that being a nerdfighter did help to solidify my spot on staff, especially since the teens that I work with are also nerdfighters.


More recently, while attempting to come up with programs for the teens of this community, I had this brilliant idea of offering a program that connected nerdfighters with one another, and maybe even John or Hank Green. Since I follow the vlogbrothers regularly and they often task followers, aka the “nerdfighteria,” to participate in the videos by completing a task, commenting on their videos, or participating in some larger community service endeavor; I thought it would be cool to host a Nerdfighter Gathering at the library. Our first official meeting was on Thursday, February 20th and subsequent meetings will be held every 3rd Thursday of the month in the “Best Cellar.”

If you are interested in starting your own Nerdfighter Gathering, but are unsure about where to start, here is what we did at our first meeting:

We began the gathering by watching the vlogbrothers video, “How To Be a Nerdfighter: A Vlogbrothers FAQ” (see below).

After we finished the video, I gave my fellow nerdfighters the task of creating the best “in your pants” book title. They each went out into the stacks and found titles that became much more humorous….and often times, more inappropriate (hey, teens will be teens). We then voted on the best. The winner received a free dftba t-shirt. See some of the titles we came up with in the carousel below. Not pictured are: Nothing Special [“in your pants”] by Jeff Herbach, Dirty Water [“in your pants”] by Laura McNeal, & Split [“in your pants”] by Swati Avasthi.

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After the first activity, we watched a recent vlogbrothers video called, “18 Great Books You Probably Haven’t Read” (see below).

We then attempted to come up with 18 of our own great books you probably haven’t read, but should. After the event, I posted the titles in the comments section of the vlogbrothers video using our Student Library Advisory Group’s Google Account.

The titles we came up with were:

1. Gravity Keeper by Simon Bloom

2. Hyperion by Dan Simmons

3. Swordbird by Nancy Yi Fan

4. Journey into the Whirlwind by Evgenia Ginsberg

5. Stung by Bethany Wiggins

6. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

7. Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi

8. Haven by Kristi Cook

9. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

10. Unwind by Neal Shusterman

11. The Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale

12. Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

13. Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden

14. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

15. Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

16. Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

17. Reboot by Amy Tintera

18. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

While there were only 4 teens at this first meeting, we still had a ton of fun; so much so that for our next meeting, we had 3 new nerdfighters! This is exactly what I was hoping for…a grassroots expansion. I am hoping the our next gathering will be slight larger and will continue to grow as we approach the Summer Reading Program when our NerdfighterGathering will take on a science theme due the collaborative summer library program theme: “Spark a Reaction.” I am very pumped about adding in elements from “SciShow.” Check back in June or July for a post on Nerdfighter Gathering: Operation SciShow. Thanks for reading and dftba!

Note: You can buy really cool nerdfighter t-shirts @ or made by other nerdfighters on or


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