Playa Vista library throws a fan party celebrating music’s biggest boy band

By Michael Aushenker

From left, One Direction’s Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson

From left, One Direction’s Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson

Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Harry Styles. To most adults, these are just five random names. But to many teenage girls, they represent the Voltron of boy bands — the mighty five-piece music entity known as One Direction. And the “Live While We’re Young” crooners have not gone unnoticed by the Los Angeles Public Library’s Playa Vista branch, which is throwing a “One Direction Fan Party” this Saturday.

“I’ve wanted to do something like this for a while,” said Shannon Salmon, Playa Vista’s young adult librarian, who promises an afternoon of “letter writing, munchies, movies and gossip.”

The boy band sprouted to fame on Simon Cowell’s record label after the group finished third in the seventh season of Britain’s “The X Factor” in 2010. They released one album each of the next three years — “Up All Night,” “Take Me Home” and “Midnight Memories” — that spawned hit singles such as “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Story of My Life.” “Midnight Memories” was the 54th best-selling album of 2013 in the United States and the fastest-selling album of the year in the U.K.

And unlike the Biebs, Miley and the imploding Jonas Brothers, 1D hasn’t lost its squeaky clean image.

Aimed at teens and tweens, the Playa Vista library’s “One Direction Fan Party!” features an array of activities meant to unite 1D fanatics throughout the Westside. Fans can participate in a letter-writing session, (after which missives to Styles and his band mates will be forwarded to their U.K.-based fan club), viewings of One Direction film clips and the creation of friendship books that kids can decorate and pass around. Cupcakes, chips and beverages sweeten up the proceedings.

Salmon said Morgan Spurlock’s 2013 1D documentary, “This is Us,” inspired her to celebrate the U.K. boy band when the time came for organizing Playa Vista Branch Library’s first-ever pop culture-themed party.

“I was a Duran Duran fan when I was a kid, and I remember going on a retreat [in Baton Rouge] where met Duran Duran fans and made friends for life,” said Salmon, a native of Baton Rouge, La.

She also recalled befriending sci-fi enthusiasts in her youth through a Dr. Who fan club at the Baton Rouge Public Library.

“The library offers a great place for that kind of thing,” she said.

While the party is open to all One Direction fanatics, Salmon expects participants to skew young.

“I haven’t met any [One Direction] fans older than 13 or 14 yet,” she said.

The “One Direction Fan Party” starts at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Los Angeles Public Library’s Playa Vista branch, 6400 Playa Vista Drive, Playa Vista. Call (310) 437-6680 or visit lapl.org/branches/playa-vista.

michael(at)argonautnews.com

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