Masquerade Madness Teen Lock-In

teen lock in

At the Summer Reading Workshops, we discuss summer programming ideas for kids, teens, and adults. When it comes to teen programming, frequently the discussion centers on the challenges of programming for teens. If you would like to start offering programs for teens, why not start with a nationwide program where you have the support of other librarians hosting a similar event?

The National Teen Lock-In is an event where “libraries across the United States invite teens to a locally hosted lock-in on the same night.” This year the Lock-In will be held on Friday, July 31, and the theme is Masquerade Madness. While individual lock-ins are organized at the local level, participating librarians “share ideas and expertise to coordinate events that bring teens together across time zones and geographic boundaries.” Last year, 80 libraries across the country participated. Activities include crafts, contests, and games.

One of the main attractions orchestrated by the organizers at the national level is the opportunity to participate in real time video chats with YA authors. YA authors participating in 2015 include:

  • Heather Demetrios
  • Jessica Brody
  • Jennifer Niven
  • S.J. Kincaid

In Homer, Alaska, Claudia Hanes participated because she was “searching for new ways to virtually connect area teens with other libraries in real time.” She points out that Homer “is a relatively remote place,” and I’m sure many of you in small, rural, North Dakota communities can relate to that.

There is a wiki for participants where you can register your event and find out more. While you can benefit from the expertise and experience of others, there is no specific template you must follow, which is great, because that allows you to work within whatever budget you have! You can tailor the event however it would best fit the needs of your community. Keeping that in mind, if your library doesn’t have space for an overnight event, why not partner with another organization in your community that also serves teens? Off-site events can still be library sponsored!

Has anyone tried a teen library lock-in? It may sound crazy, but 80 libraries have done it! What has worked for you? Share your suggestions in the comments!


2 responses to “Masquerade Madness Teen Lock-In

  1. I love teen lock-ins!! I have volunteered at quite a few. A favorite game was “zombie tag”- use socks filled with baby powder to tag the person. The teens loved it. Laser tag was another fun favorite. If you library has the movie license, you can show movies and make microwave popcorn. If you’re planning a teen lock-in, drop me a line if you’d like other ideas.

    Mary Soucie
    State Librarian

  2. I loved lock-in when I was growing up, we always played sardine. So one person would hide, and if you found them you hid with them. The last person to find the group had the hide the next time 🙂

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