Library books a date with the undead

HUNGRY HORDES: The zombies surrounded Tupu Youth Library in their hunt for a human lunch.
HUNGRY HORDES: The zombies surrounded Tupu Youth Library in their hunt for a human lunch.

Chicken, clean underwear and a teddy bear were among a list of "must have" items for a group of teens facing down the undead.

A horde of zombies invaded Tupu Youth Library in Otara and the brave teens had to think on their feet to avoid being bitten.

Taking shelter in a meeting room, they had to brainstorm, research and work together to defeat the horde.

INVADING FORCE: Library staff, actors and volunteers prowled the library in search of victims.
INVADING FORCE: Library staff, actors and volunteers prowled the library in search of victims.

Problem-solving challenges included detecting the symptoms of a zombie bite and wrestling with an undead police officer.

The group - made up of South Auckland youngsters aged 12 to 18 - also discovered that a guitar was an essential weapon in the fight against zombies.

"You can attract them with the guitar, distract them with the music and then bash them over the head with it," event organiser Dr Matt Finch says. "It's a treble."

For 14-year-old Joseph Feau, fighting zombies was all about inner strength.

"We have to have mana," he says.

The zombies were played by library staff, volunteers from the community and actors from last month's Apocalypse Z drama, which was held in Aotea Square.

The event aimed to rekindle youth interest in libraries and develop their research skills and problem-solving abilities.

Dr Finch says the event shows that libraries are far more than "just books on shelves".

They're also a gateway for youth to "explore culture, learning and imagination" through a range of activities, he says.

"The zombie siege is a great opportunity for young people to enter the world of a story and explore the consequences of their actions through role-play."

Manukau Courier