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TPiB: Humans vs Zombies (Lock-In Version with Doctor Who twist)

v:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} Twice every year, right around Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and the beginning of school, I hold a lock-in for teens who have reached a particular reading goal. For the Summer Reading Lock-In, they must read 65 hours or more in order to stay 13 hours in our community building. I have the schedule down pretty tight- anything that is a group activity is required, and we always start off the night with a massive game with everyone. This time around, I took inspiration from the guys over at humansvszombies.org and modified what they call a survival or short game to fit what we needed.

And OH, what fun it was. 
Pause between rounds and reconfiguring bandanas

Game in progress

Discussing strategy
The nice thing is that it can definitely be adjusted for a library game for an after hours event, or a large party with minimal effort. 
Really, all you need is bandanas- I added the extras to make it more interesting…

Background Scenario 

Your library is ground zero of a horrific plague. Food from the local gas station was contaminated with a genetic mutation and turn anyone who eats them into a flesh-eating zombie.

No one knew.

It took hours for the mutation to take place after eating them, and no one knew until after the library doors were closed for the library’s lock-in/program.  

The zombies currently look like anyone else, but after a while . . .

not all Non-combatants may be used in the game

Humans: those who did not eat takis and now must fight the zombie invasion (active participant) 

Zombies: those who did eat the takis and now must try and turn the humans into zombies (active participant) 

Quartermaster(S): person or persons in charge of distributing supplies to the humans. Not zombie food. Marked with a whistle. ( 1-4 players, non-combatant) 

W.h.o. doctor(s): those who will call whether a zombie has infected a human if there is cause for discussion. Marked with a bowtie. (1-4 players, non-combatant) 

U.N. Investigator(s): those who are in charge of making sure game play is fair and safe for all. Marked with a badge. (1-6 players, non-combatant) 

Game Master: person overseeing all game play, punishment, and side quests

For humans 

Goal of the game: survive. The one who is the last to be turned into a zombie is the winner. You wear your bandana on your arms or wrist.

Sock stuns must hit the torso. Zombies are stunned for a count of 10 as demonstrated by the game master.
Humans can form teams of three for survival.
You turn into a zombie if a zombie tags you on the arms, back or legs. You then move your bandana to your head. 

For Zombies

The goal of the game is to turn all of the humans. The game is over when all the humans are dead. You wear your bandana on your head. 

You turn humans by tagging them on the arms, back or legs. No tags on the head, torso, or feet. No flying tags or any other type of tag that will cause injury. 
You can be stunned by the throwing of socks to the torso. You must count to 10 in the manner demonstrated by the game master. Any faster and you will have to start again. 
Zombies can hunt in packs of six. Any more than that and you get confused and wander off by yourselves.

    For the quartermaster
    1-4 players depending

    Your mission is to supply the humans with their only weapon against the zombies, smelly socks left in the lost and found. These weapons stun zombies.
    You must recharge used socks by collecting them from the combat area and taking them to the weapon depot or way station to regain their stun abilities.
    You have immunity from the zombie infection due to your continuous contact with laundry soap.
    You must wear your assigned whistle at all times.
    Humans can carry up to 5 separate socks at a time- you are not allowed to give them more than that.
    Zombies can track your location for a 15 count, so be careful how you get your supplies to humans. You do not want to lead zombies to humans.
    The main weapon depot will be at (designate an area), but you may create up to two more way stations of ammunition at the beginning of the game. You must let the U.N. Investigators know the locations of the way stations.

    For W.H.O. Doctor(S)

    1-4 players Depending

    You are called in to investigate whether or not a human has been turned into a zombie if there is a dispute.
    Humans are turned into a zombie if they are tagged on the arm, leg or back *only*. No other tag is allowed.
    You must wear your assigned bowtie during the entire game play.
    You wander around the entire gameplay area unless otherwise called to a specific area.
    You may give infected humans a chance to earn their life back through the ‘Weeping Angel Challenge’ (see below) 

    The Weeping Angel Challenge:

    Tell the infected human this: You have one chance to gain back your humanity- If you decline, you will become a zombie and must join the ranks of the undead. If you accept the challenge and win, you will become human again. If you accept the challenge and fail, you will die and sit out the rest of the game. What is your answer?

    If they accept the challenge, give them a weeping angel card and tell them to report to the game master. If they decline the challenge, they become a zombie immediately.

    For U.N. Investigator(S)
    1-4 players depending

    You Must wear your assigned badge at all times during gameplay. 
    You wander the site making sure that zombies, humans, W.H.O. doctors, and quartermasters are following the rules. If they are found to not be playing fair, the following penalties will apply:

    Flying tags or other unsafe tags by zombies: immediate death and sent to the game master
    Stunning to the head or other places to cause pain on purpose: send immediately to the game master
    Humans found to be carrying more than 5 socks: immediate turning to zombie.
    Humans in more than squads of 3: immediate disbandment.
    Zombies in more than packs of 6: immediate confusion and wandering alone.
    Zombies counting too fast during stunning: counting to 100.
    Quartermaster supplying too much ammunition: downgrade to human.
    W.H.O. doctor not performing duties: report immediately to game master for punishment

    For the Game Master 

    You are in charge of the ‘weeping angel’ challenge. You will need to have the following equipment in order to discharge your duties: a stopwatch, weeping angel masks, random quests (if desired), a watch/timer (for timed games), an announcement system, infection result cards, bandanas, socks, copies of these instructions for all participants, weeping angels, and other things as devised. 

    Rules of the Games

      • Those who want to be active participants (humans or zombies) need to let the game master know before start of game
      • Game master assigns Bowties to W.H.O. doctors, Whistles to Quartermaster(S), and Badges to U.N. Investigators so all players know who they are. They are then released into the game arena.
      • Active Participants are given their infection status. Humans are immediately sent from the room to meet with the Quartermaster to gain ammunition and form a plan. Zombies meet with each other before brain functions complete disintegrate.
    Weeping Angel Challenge
    Scattered around the game play area are weeping angels. You have a certain time limit to bring back ONE (1) angel. Fail and you are dead and must sit out the rest of the game as the angels have gotten you. Succeed and you return to the human race to battle the zombies. You Must wear a weeping angel mask on your head (not necessarily on your face) so that other participants know that you are on a challenge. The first challenge will be set at a particular time. After the first successful challenge is completed, the next person will have to meet or beat that time. The time will keep getting shorter and shorter as the game goes on.
     This game is an adaptation of the original Human vs. Zombies game found here.  Christie adapted the rules to fit her library programming and add her own unique Doctor Who twist with the Weeping Angel challenge. 

    Friday Fill-In: Apocolyptic Playlist

    This week has been interesting. One of the two water mains broke in my town Monday night, causing us to massively conserve water on Tuesday (it’s now fixed). A storm came through on Tuesday, and knocked down tree limbs that took out my power on Wednesday. I have a teen lock-in tonight into tomorrow morning with 14 teens who have read 65 hours or more using the Beneath the Surface theme, and have zombie books on display (see the picture above). 

    And ever since I awoke on Wednesday to the sounds of chainsaws, I’ve had apocalypse music on the brain. Go braaaaain.

    So in honor of all the dysoptia, zombie and horror books we love, I give you the Apocalyptic Playlist. I will be using it for Killer Musical Chairs at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning. Any other songs you can think of, share in the comments.

    Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktvTqknDobU]

    Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival
    London Calling by The Clash
    (Don’t Fear) The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult

    The Four Horsemen by Metallica
    Uprising by Muse

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8KQmps-Sog]

    The Final Countdown by Europe
    The End by the Beatles
    Til the End of the World by U2
    Doomsday Clock by Smashing Pumpkins
    Don’t Open until Doomsday by The Misfits
    I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie
    The End by My Chemical Romance
    Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden
    Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas

    Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
    Dog Days are Over by Florence + the Machine
    Let the Flames Begin by Paramore

    It’s the End of the World As We Know It by R.E.M. 

    For more music fun to share with your teens, check out this list of 30 bands that teens are loving right now on Huffington Post Teen.  Music is a great way to connect.  For the record, Karen is totally obsessed with The Neighbourhood right now, as is her tween.

    Also, check out these Apocalypse Survival Tips that we learned from YA lit.

    A Day In the Life of a Library: Lock-In Preparation

    A lock-in can be extremely rewarding for teens and libraries if done the proper way.  You, the teen services specialist, need buy in not only from your teens (which is relatively easy- I mean, if you don’t have teens clamoring to stay all night in the library, email me, we need to talk), but also within your community (meaning the parents/guardians and other patrons) and your administration (not only your boss, but your director, the Friends of the Library, and the Library Board).  Getting that buy-in may not always be easy, but if you have a secure plan in place, I find it’s a sure-fire way to start.

    I have always tied mine in with a reading program (summer or winter) in order to have the teens EARN the privileged to stay the night.  I know that other libraries may not do this (I know others have special lock-ins for TAG groups, for instance) but I work (and have worked) in areas where teens need that extra push to read- they need a goal to work for, and the prizes that we’re able to give may not be the encouragement that they need.  Having adults that care enough to spend the night with them, and crazy enough to plan fun and interesting activities, shows that there is someone out there that wants them to succeed enough to devote the time and energy to them.  And it is a LOT of time and energy, so much that I don’t think anyone really realizes it from the outside. I know that a lot of my teens don’t. On lock-in days alone, I am physically AT my building starting at 5 p.m., and do not leave before 8:30 a.m. the next morning (15 1/2 hours).  In addition, on lock-in days, I am gathering donations from sponsors and collecting last minute necessities and prepping for the day.  Easily, I work (and I mean WORK) 20 hours on a lock-in day.

    A typical lock-in day will go like this:

      11 a.m.-1 p.m.
      Placing calls and finalizing details.  This can involve arranging last minute delivery of donated food from local vendors like pizza, or arranging to pick-up T-shirts for the lock-in.  I’m also going over my check-list of places I need to go to and things I need to pick-up, as well as packing for the day.  I’ll stop back by my house between 4-5 p.m., and then I won’t be back until 9 a.m. the next morning, so I need to have everything in bins ready to grab and go. 
      1-4 p.m.
      Driving and gathering donations from various vendors around town.  This can be anything from pre-packaged pastries for breakfast, to freebies and trinkets from the Dollar Store, to juice and Kool-Aide donated from the local grocery stores.

      4-5 p.m.
      Packing up any supplies and materials at my house for transport to the library: PS3 and Wii games and controllers, board games, plates, napkins, and other donations that have been given by parents or other members of the community.

      5-7 p.m.

      Arrive at building, and set up library and large meeting rooms for lock-in.  Check off teen and chaperone names as they come in, and remind them that they need to be in the large meeting room at 7 for lock-down.  Have teens help set up tables and chairs for dinner, and gaming systems in the library.

      7-8 p.m.
      Building check with other staff to make sure building is clear, call any parents of teens that are AWOL.  Dinner.

      8-9 p.m.
      Group games.  We have done Clue, Werewolf, Building Capture the Flag, Muggle Quidditch, Apples to Apples, Killer Bunnies- anything that can be done as a group that will get some energy burned off.
      9-10 p.m.: Free time.  Teens can be anywhere in the building except the off limits zones.  I will be wandering halls, checking on teens, and making sure things are going smoothly.

      10-11 p.m.
      Gym time.  We have a tradition of chaperone vs. teen volleyball games, then dodgeball, basketball, or anything else we desire.

      11-12 midnight
      Free time.

      12 midnight- 2 a.m.
      Group movie time.  Anyone not asleep in the safe rooms (separate for boys and girls, and I check) is required to come to the library to watch the group movie.  This year it will be Flash Gordon.

      2 – 3 a.m.

      Free time.

      3 – 4 a.m.
      Group games.  Anyone not asleep in the safe rooms is required to join us in the large meeting room for group games.  These are usually based around a theme- this year it will be 80’s games like Twister, musical chairs to 80’s bands, and Team Operation.

      4-7 a.m.
      Free time.  This is the most important time to be wandering around.  Anyone found asleep who is not in the safe room is fair game for marking, and I get LOTS of pictures.  We’ve found them under desks, in corners, everywhere.  And one teen always gets marked, no matter what he does.

      7-8 a.m.
      Group wake-up, clean up, and breakfast.  One of the main rules I have with any teen program is that we set up and we clean up, and a lock-in is no exception.  We have to leave the BUILDING in opening order, so we have to clean up any messes that have been made, and when I mean WE, I mean the teens.  Kool-Aid on the floor, go find the mop.  Pizza crusts didn’t make in the garbage, go clean it up.  Everything is clean before the donated breakfast (usually donuts or other pastries) is served.

      8 a.m.
      Teens are released.  Those that are within walking distance can walk home, and those that need rides can call, or leave with parents. Hopefully all parents are waiting by 8 to pick up everyone, but I have had some be as late as 9.

      8:30 a.m.
      I am hopefully leaving the building after doing a final walk-through, loading up my car, and locking up everything before the building opens in 30 minutes.  The library staff will show at 9, the building itself will open at 9, but the library won’t open until 10.  If any teens have not been picked up, I stay until 9 when the building is opened, and then they are on their own.

      Yet, the fact that I have 12 at-risk teens who read 35 hours over their winter break, and the fact that my summer lock-in grows every year, shows that I’m doing something right.  These same teens are the ones who’s reading scores were failing and are now passing or higher.  While I cannot concretely tie it to involvement in the library, the reading program, and the lock-ins, I have to be doing something right.  They’re coming to the library, and they are reading.  They’re sharing their favorite authors with me, and I’ll catch two or three of them reading new books during free time. Every year, my roster of volunteer chaperones gets larger- they are my former teens wanting to make a difference.  So, something is right.

      Fav 5 Programs of the Year: Christie’s Version

      “Don’t count every hour in the day; make every hour in the day count.”

      – unknown

      Everyone always has their favorite things that they love to do at work, things that just make your day.  Mine is doing things with the kids, whether it’s just sitting down and hanging out or having a formal program.  There’s always something going on at my library, and while we have a lot of programs, I thought that I’d share my favorite 5 of the year.

      Championship Round of the Thanksgiving Halo Tournament

      Gaming Events

      From running informal gaming afternoons to formal tournaments with Mario Kart, Smash Brothers or Halo, I love running gaming events. Maybe it’s because I’m a halfway decent gamer (I have a bit of talent, and a LOT of enthusiasm), but I enjoy watching and playing video games, and am always up on the latest games.  While my library may not have the latest and greatest titles (Wii, PS3 and XBOX 360 w/o a Kinect), I do let the teens bring their own games- and they know that a. they’re responsible for their stuff, and b. nothing comes up missing or I will find out who took it before everyone leaves.

      Surprise Saturday: Yu-Gi-Oh Free Play 

      Surprise Saturdays

      I adore Surprise Saturdays.  Maybe it’s because I’m actually caught up on everything, and everyone is actually here, but I think it’s more because it makes the day special for the kids.  I’ve done crafts, freeplay Wii and PS3 gaming, holiday movie days, Yu-Gi-Oh free play, board games…  And it only takes a little bit before the word gets around and while I may start with two or three people, I end up with a room full.

      Star Wars Reads Day/ May the Sith Be With You
      I have had two different Star Wars based programs, and both have been HUGE successes, so if you were deabting whether or not to have one: DO IT.  The most recent one was Star Wars Reads Day, and we did origami crafts from the Origami Yoda books, had free play sessions on the PS3 for Lego Star Wars, played Star Wars Monopoly, and had a surprise visit (to all of us) from TIE fighter pilots from the 501st (picture on the left).  The first program I had I coordinated with the 501st directly, and had 6 members of the Fist able to come out: Lord Vader (pictured on the right reading silently as my kids looked on), an Imperial Royal Guard, a Storm Trooper, a Sand Trooper, a Scout Trooper and one of the Imperial Crew.  Both times, after pictures with the kids, they went around and interacted with everyone- playing pool, looking at what they were doing on the computers, and loving the Star Wars books that we had on display.  The 501st do need a locked room to store their weapons and other gear away from the Rebel Alliance, but it is definitely worth the effort to get them to your library.

       Reading Program Lock-Ins
      Karen and I disagree on this one, but I adore lock-ins, and use them as a huge added incentive for my teen reading programs.  I make it an added challenge by tacking it above and beyond what they need to actually complete the program to our system’s standards, and every year the number of teens meeting the challenge increases.  It is a lot of time and energy to produce the program: gathering donations for food, coordinating prizes and reading logs, getting the building ready for the lock-in, making sure you think about everything before hand, etc.  However, it is definitely worth it in my opinion. The teens that have been participating in the lock-ins (and therefore the reading programs heavily) have been improving their reading scores at school, and are staying involved at the library and at school.  And in my area, that’s huge.

      Talk Like a Pirate Day
      I think Talk Like a Pirate Day is hysterical, and adore it.  Besides, I get a legitimate excuse to bring a sword to work!  This year, I was able to coordinate with the after school program in my building and we showed movies and did pirate flags for everyone- 90 kids and adults in all.  A lot of leg work, especially as there was just me setting it all up, but definitely worth it as the next two weeks we were buried in requests for pirate and shipwreck books.

      So, what were your favorite programs that you did?  Or what are you looking forward to doing in the coming year?  Share in the comments below!

      Expecting the Unexpected: Lock-In Bob-ombs (TPIB)

      “There’s a plan in everything, kid, and I love it when a plan comes together.” -Col. Hannibal Smith, A-Team (2010)
      Lock-ins are wonderful when you have the right mindset at the beginning; however, they can easily snowball into a mess if you look the other way for a minute. Every library is different; the community surrounding my library is vastly different from the community surrounding the branch library less than twenty minutes away but in the same town. As the teen librarian (or the de facto teen librarian, since you’re reading this), you know your teens and the community, and should know generally what will and won’t work with your teens. That’s not the point for this post- you’ve gotten the basics, talked to your staff and admin, and posted for ideas on the various listservs. The point of this post is to point out the little things that can trip you up and cause issues before you even start.

      The Basics:
      You want a LOCK-IN! That’s wonderful! How long do you have to have the teens for? 3 hours? 4? Overnight? What ages can you have, and have you checked with your legal department to make sure you can legally have it that long for those ages? In my community, we have to start at 13 due to legal requirements. Who’s it for? Is it a reward for a certain goal achieved for the summer reading program? Or for your teen volunteers? If you open it up for too many, you may not have enough people to staff it, or enough room. How are the kids going to get home if you release them at midnight, and what do you do when there’s that one kid that never gets picked up?

      It all Starts with the People:
      Having gone through the approval process with your administration, and being the uber talented teen librarian you are, you know your ratio for adults to teens (the more the better, ideally 1:7 or 1:5). But have you taken a good look at the adults that you have? You can cajole staff to be at a program all that you want, but if they are not willing or able to interact with teens in a way that will be both enjoyable and responsible, then you may actually be harming your program. Are they ones that have fun with your teens? On a daily basis interact with them, talk with them, joke with them? If you need extras, think about contacting former teen attendees that have aged out who would make good volunteers. Make sure you have both genders represented- a co-ed lock-in needs co-ed staff. Who else will you have to check the opposite gender’s bathroom at 3am for shenanigans?
      Documentation, Please!
      Yes, the teens at your library are perfect. Mine, however, are not exactly angels, although they tend to behave MUCH better for me than others. Do you have a permission slip that is signed by a parent or legal guardian for your lock-in? Are you sure it’s really the parent or legal guardian who signed it? Was it approved by your city attorney or legal department? Did you cover food allergies and medications that they need to take, and will those meds be in the original prescription bottles? What about if the teen misbehaves or if there’s an emergency, and the parent/guardian will need to pick up the teen, even if it’s at 4 a.m.? Or if the teen brings their mp3 player, video game, cell phone, camera, favorite teddy bear, etc., and it’s not locked up in a safe and secure location, it’s NOT the responsibility of the librarian (you), the library, or the city?
      Being creative and flexible, you’ve already gotten donations and worked around any restrictions about food purchasing within your organization. You’ve arranged for massive amounts of pizza from the local parlor, and donuts for the morning. However, did you think about what your little angels might be bringing with them? The average age for teens to TRY alcohol is 11 for boys and 13 for girls, and an overnighter *ANYWHERE* with a less than 1:1 ratio of adults to teens is a perfect time to try and sneak something past. If you’re allowing your teens to bring food and drink into your lock-in (and realistically, who wouldn’t, have you seen how much a teenager can eat?!?!), make sure that you hit hard on the fact that they have to be in unopened, original containers, and make sure that you also check seals and bags. The way I handle it is that I check their stash, and I offer to make a store run so if they give me money in advance, I can buy their Jones Sodas ahead of time.
      Planning for Fun
      Do you have enough for the teens to do? Do you have a broad enough scope of things to entertain fully all the different types of teens that you have for however many hours you expect to have them? After 8 lock-ins at my current job, I’ve found that the more we run on a schedule, the more fun the teens have- if I let them have too much free time, they get antsy and want me to poke people to do things together. Hence, “THE SCHEDULE.” I have it out in advance (usually posted on the door to my office), and we have a meeting a few days beforehand to go over the schedule and answer any questions. I alternate planned activities with free time, but anything that is planned is MANDATORY unless they are sleeping in one of the “safe zones.” For my upcoming lock-in in August, it will look something like this:

      5-7 p.m.: Teen and Volunteer Check-in and Library Set-Up
      7p.m.: Lock-Down, Roll Call, & Group Pictures
      7:30 – 9 p.m.: Dinner and Group Games
      9-10 p.m.: Free Time
      10 – 11 p.m.: Volleyball and Gym Activities
      11-Midnight: Free Time
      Midnight – 2 a.m. Movie
      2 -4 a.m.: Free Time
      4-5 a.m.: Group Gaming
      5-7 a.m.: Free Time
      7:15-8 a.m.: Breakfast, Group Pictures, and Clean-up
      8 a.m.: Release to parents
      In my space, I’m lucky in that we have the run of a community building, so that during a “free” time in my schedule, I can have basketball in the gym, a Runescape tournament in the computer lab, crafts in the large meeting room, movies in the game room, console gaming and reading in the library, Yu-Gi-Oh dueling and chess in the hallways, and still have room for separate gender sleeping space and tag. Make sure that you have enough extra things so that your teens, when they split off into groups, have enough to keep them occupied without coming up to you and saying, MISS, I’M BORED….

      The Fine Print
      Finally, there are the things that go outside the norm of a typical teen program. Is your building’s climate control housed within your building, or is it controlled off site? Whom do you need to contact to make sure you have lights, AC, electricity? Do you need to contact the local police station and let them know you are using the building after hours? What about the security company- will they call someone if the alarm isn’t set by a particular time that day? Do you need to let the building cleaning crew know that you’re going to have 15-30 rambling teenagers roaming the building during their scheduled cleaning time, or do you need to reschedule them around your program? What is your library’s policy regarding computer use and teens, and what happens if one of your teens doesn’t mesh with that policy (doesn’t have a library card or permission on file)?
      As Col. Smith says in “A-Team”, “Give me a minute, I’m good. Give me an hour, I’m great. Give me six months, I’m unbeatable.” Plan for the ridiculous, plan for the extreme, and you’ll give yourself an easy time and your teens an experience that they’ll come back for again and again.
      Today’s TLT post is brought to you by Christie G, find out more about her here.
      Why we’re talking Lock-Ins, be sure to check out some of our other articles on Lock-Ins: