Friends and colleagues look at me like I’m mad when I tell them that I spent 12 hours overnight in the library with a bunch of 4th grade boys on Friday. “The Library Sleepover,” as it has been dubbed, morphed out of an 8th grade right-of-passage into a fundraiser for our school.
Like many independent schools, the one where I work has an auction to help with fundraising. Many of the faculty donate their time to auction items, and the librarians are no exception. The Middle School Librarian, the Middle School Math Teacher, and I (Lower School Librarian) auction off a night of fun and games in the library. We have made it work for various ages and genders – ranging from 7th grade girls, to 3rd grade boys and girls, to this year’s 4th grade boys.
The parents drop the students off at school at 7p.m. on Friday. They haul their sleeping bags and pillows into our library, and head to the auditorium for pizza. From there they move onto a library scavengar hunt where they use all kinds of resources along with their library skills in a race to the finish the scavengar hunt. This is very easy to tailor to the age of the students. Then comes the games section. The youngest students partake in games like “Fishy, Fishy in the Sea” and relay races, and the older students play H.O.R.S.E. or have a mini dance. Following a refreshment break, the craft portion begins. Some ideas we have used for this are mini photo albums, beading, making flubber, lanyards, and decorating t-shirts. Then it’s back into the library and into pjs for a movie. Lights out comes in around midnight, with various degrees of giggles depending on the age of the students. Caregivers arrive at 7 a.m. to take the students home!
I have to say, while on the surface “The Library Sleepover” seems daunting, it is an amazingly fun experience. We get to know our students on a completely different level, and put the library in a bit of a different light. Follow these links for more information on various forms of library sleepovers, or library lockdowns.