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Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: Superhero Lock-In by Michelle Biwer

tpibThe recent release of the amazing Wonder Woman film was the perfect excuse to host another teen lock-in for two hours on a Friday evening.

With 3 floors of library to work with, there was lots of opportunity to let the teens run around (literally) and utilize all of our meeting rooms for different activities. With 4 staff members and 4 teen volunteers, we had at least one staff member on every floor and had teen volunteers to help lead different activities.

Icebreaker Activity: As we were waiting for all of the teens to arrive, a teen volunteer led a Superhero versus Villains version of the popular party game Mafia. This is a great team building and warmup activity because teense can join in the game as they arrive and the game can be ended at any time.

After the icebreaker activity, the teens were free to go to any of the 5 stations we had set up for the next hour.

Trivia Station: At my last TAB meeting a few teens had made superhero themed Kahoot! Quizzes. Some teens didn’t have phones, in which case we played in “team mode” with library tablets.

Light-Up Captain America Shield: Nothing too techy ever succeeds at my library as a standalone teen program so I’m always looking for ways to bring STEM into my well attended “fun” programs. Instructables has a neat tutorial on how to make sewable circuit superhero badges. I adapted their instructions to use cheaper materials with a similar result. With just conductive thread, felt, and LEDs, the teens sewed a circuit into their superhero badge.

Perler Bead Craft: We printed out some example perler bead creations for teens to follow, but some opted to make their own creations! Of course a librarian was on hand to do all the ironing.
perler beads

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Screening: A low key option for teens who might need a little rest from the excitement.

Scavenger Hunt: Legendary DC and Marvel villains kidnapped various superheroes and hidden them around the library! Teens had to find where the superheroes were hidden based on clues. All teens who completed the scavenger hunt received a prize from one of our summer reading sponsors.

Superhero Themed Escape Room: Once again I turned one of our conference rooms into an escape room. This time groups of 8 or less teens were superheroes trapped in a creepy abandoned warehouse by the Trickster (anyone else watch The Flash?). I do not think my coworkers have ever been so disturbed as they were when they saw the room. That is how I knew it was creepy enough to be a success! The teens had to locate two bomb detonators and turn them off in order to save Central City and themselves. They also had to “escape” the room. For an extra challenge, I gave groups the option to escape the room in the dark, with only blacklight flashlights to help them solve the clues.

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While this after hours program series takes a lot of work to put together, they always get great attendance and the teens always leave asking when the next lock-in will take place!

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