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WORLD BOOK NIGHT PARTY PACK Library sleepover
While most World Book Night events should really be labelled as ‘World Book Evening’, the library sleepover is one event that truly merits the title. Surely, nothing (well, not much) could be better than spending World Book Night in the library, with your friends, surrounded by thousands of the items that you’re celebrating: books!
SO, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Let’s arrange a sleepover.
To organise a library sleepover, the first thing you’re going to need is the co-operation of the library and the library staff. There will be lots of red tape to get through before your local council will allow a bunch of teenagers to hang out in the stacks in their PJs. But, once you’ve got the library on board, the event will be great fun (and a fantastic educational experience, of course).
So, let’s get the red tape out of the way first. To stay overnight in the library you will need:
• Members of staff and/or parents who are prepared to act ‘in loco parentis’ e. g. take responsibility for you and your wayward friends. Ideally, if there are going to be boys and girls at the event, you’ll have at least one male and one female adult at the event. And, of course, any adults present must be DBS checked.
Parental consent and health forms filled in. Parents will need to sign a form to say that they are happy for their child to attend the event and outlining any health issues to be aware of. They will also need to include phone numbers for next of kin.
A risk assessment and/or health and safety check. This is where you list everything that could possibly go wrong and plan for how you will deal with that e. g. • Boy eats too much pizza and pukes in the toilets – clean up the mess wearing rubber gloves and call his parents. • Bookshelves topple over like dominoes – make sure you have insurance and a phone handy to call 999.
The library should already be insured for any kind of mishap to members of the public but your library staff need to check that the library’s Public Liability Insurance covers events taking place overnight.
Now onto the fun stuff
SLEEPOVER ACTIVITIES A library sleepover is actually a fairly easy event to organise as sleepovers tend to have a natural rhythm. You could follow a pattern something like this:
• Food • Games • Movie • Lights out Although you might choose to have the food with the movie and play the games with the lights out!
LIBRARY GAMES There are loads of games that lend themselves to World Book Night. Here a few to give you some ideas but you’ll be able to come up with things that reflect the interests of the group.
HIDE AND SEEK Yes, really! Libraries are great places to hide, especially if you turn the lights off and have torches. Or, if you don’t want to hide yourselves, set up a treasure hunt of one kind or another. You could type up literary clues, or just shove Quality Street between the classics. Or, to keep the spooky element, hide glow in the dark stars or figures around the place.
MURDER MYSTERY Buy yourselves a ready-made mystery game or make up your own. (For more on this, see the Murder in the Library resource).
WORLD BOOK NIGHT QUIZ Have a quiz master set some questions. To keep the book focus, have some rounds that are of a literary nature. • Who wrote Pride and Prejudice? • What’s the second book in Twilight series called? • Which book features the character Augustus Waters?
MIX AND MATCH Photocopy some opening paragraphs from novels and some book covers and see who can match the writing with the covers.
BALDERDASH OR THE DICTIONARY GAME Pick an obscure word from the dictionary and have everyone create their own definition of the word. One person collects in the definitions and then reads out the whole pile, being careful to surreptitiously include the real definition. Then, everyone votes on which is the real one. There are points of getting the right answer and points for fooling your friends.
EX LIBRIS Like the Dictionary Game but with fiction. Pick a book off the library shelves and read out the blurb on the back. Everyone writes an imaginary opening line or paragraph to the book. The person in charge reads out all the openings, including the real one. As before, points for picking the right one and points for fooling your friends.
FOOD Food has got to be the most important part of the sleepover and some time should be spent choosing exactly what will make up your World Book Night feast. Keep it simple and order some takeaway pizzas or go to town with the literary theme and bring in food relating to books: The Donut Diaries, anyone? Sushi for Beginners?
MOVIES When you’ve worn yourselves out chasing around playing hide and seek and your brains are ready to pack up following the exertion of word games galore, snuggle up with some popcorn and put on a film. Get your group to choose the film together but with so many great films based on books, it would be rude not to have a literary movie. Here a few to get you started:
• The Golden Compass • About a Boy • Now is Good • Breaking Dawn • Bridget Jones’ Diary • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory • The Green Mile • The Lord of the Rings
BEDTIME READING It is World Book Night so why not have a spot of shared bedtime reading at your event? You could tell ghost stories or take it in turns to read from your favourite book. Or, if you don’t fancy this, have a book swap. Bring along one of your favourite books and exchange it for someone else’s.
AND SO TO BED Eventually, however fabulous the evening has been, you will want to sleep so best to think in advance about your comfort. With your invites to the event, include a packing list with some or all of the following on it:
PACKING LIST • Pyjamas! • Sleeping bags • Pillows • Roll mat • Toothbrush and toothpaste • Torch • Water bottle • Toiletries • Towel
And there we have it: that's how to organise the perfect library sleepover!