Late Night at the Library

This summer I wanted to do something super special for the teens and something that they would remember.  So I went to the drawing board and came up with ‘Late Night at the Library’.  This program would go from 7-11p so that the teens could have an experience at the library after closing without having to stay the whole night.

I worked with Game Truck to come to our library for the teens from 7-9p.  The game truck is amazing! The teens loved it! I couldn’t even get them to eat pizza once they showed up! The guys who ran it were awesome and it worked out perfect because then I had time to set up for my half of the program from 9-11p.

Game Truck is a franchise business so if you are interested in having them come to your library or event I’m sure that you could find one in your area! Our Game Truck owner is very nice to libraries 🙂


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Next came the really fun part……


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I used a kit to start to plan this murder mystery but I tweaked it a lot as I went.  The kit I used was Death Gets a Red Card.  This kit makes it super easy to get started.  You can use it fully or make it your own.  The first thing I did was DECORATED THE LIBRARY!



Then the kids arrived from the game truck so we flashed the lights and began with the newscaster announcement that there has been a murder in the library!!! Dun…Dun…DUNN!!

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Then the teens divided up into teams and we began.  I had three rooms set up for the investigation: bedroom, scene of the crime, and police station.  The kit says to just leave the clues laying out but I made it a bit more tricky… Each room was in a different section of the library: Non-fiction=Bedroom, YA Section=Scene of the Crime, DVDs=Police Station.  So each room had about 4-5 clues hidden within materials! I made up riddles that would guide the group to the material and then the clue would be inside.  This way the kids had to search through the stacks to find their clues.  I have attached the riddles that I used..see if you can figure them out 🙂

 Riddles To Find the Clues!

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This is how I set up the night.  I had all four groups stay in our community room which was away from the main library.  Two groups came in at a time into the library.  The police station was the last room that everyone would see.  Group one went to non-fiction and group two went to YA section.  They had five minutes then they would switch.  After their next five minutes they would go back to the community room and the next two groups would do the same thing.  I went through this twice so that each group had ten minutes for each room.  original_url: 3012FF1F-90A6-4F4C-9D77-3ECCF073C2B4original_url: 0DAD53D6-3F67-4752-A64C-CD2DC3BE964E

Next, one at a time each group had five minutes at the police station.   After we went through all the groups they had another five minutes.  Then it was a free for all.  All groups were in the library looking for whatever clues they didn’t get and they were writing down their story of what they felt happened.   I instructed them that no one was allowed to write down what they thought happened until everyone had been to the police station twice and all groups were back in the library.  The group that would win would be the first group that got it to me and was correct.  The kit came with all of the answers but you should be familiar with the mystery so that you can help the kids if they have questions.

I thankfully had lots of donated prizes from the community businesses so the winning group got to pick one prize each. I also had a large prize, a Kindle Fire, that I raffled off like a door prize.  The teens LOVED this and couldn’t stop talking about how they couldn’t wait for the next one.  I have never seen the teens so involved and excited about a program.  This is definitely one for the books 🙂

Check out the Slideshow !

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