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Library Programs: Zombie Prom

I am so late in posting about this! Lalitha at Masala Reader asked me ages ago to write up what we did for our Zombie Prom and I'm finally getting around to it.

Zombie Prom happened at my library this past summer. It was the brainchild of my Young Adult Librarian. For the past two years I had run an end of school/start of summer dance at the library. The first year was Moonlight Masquerade and the next year Geek Prom. So we decided to repeat that idea this year only with zombies.

We had also been contacted be a local band whose members are in middle school and high school and they really wanted to play a show at my branch. I had talked to the teens earlier about them playing and they weren't too thrilled with the idea. So I suggested the band become the live music for our Zombie Prom. It ended up working out really well because they got the crowd they wanted and we didn't have to worry about creating a playlist for the event. (We did make a short playlist for the bands break which included Thriller of course!)

Running the Event

In addition to the band and lots of room for a dance floor, we had various stations set up.

-Zombie Makeup. This was by far the most popular area. We had three staff (myself, my teen librarian and another staff member from reference who is a huge zombie fan) all stationed here to apply zombie makeup. We gave the teens zombie bites using liquid latex (check for allergies first!!), toilet paper, and then covering that up with foundation and blood. Here's a tutorial that is similar to what we did for the zombie makeup. This is also a great chance to get your community involved and have a theater group volunteer to help with the makeup.

-Prom Photos. We had one of our library pages staff this station with our library camera. (She was so awesomely involved that she ripped up an old prom dress zombie style and went all out with makeup!) There was a large backdrop that said Zombie Prom 2012 in bloody letters that was hanging on the wall. Teens could get their photos taken, then we would print them off on the printer (on white printer paper-we were cheap but you could get photo paper if you really wanted). Then teens could come by and pick up their photos.

-Dancing. Of course there was dancing! The teens at first were a bit shy about dancing but once the music got going, they had fun. I wish the band had taken requests, but they did not. I had one teen ask if they could dance the zombie hokey pokey to get everyone dancing, but the band didn't know how to play it, so we never got to do it. I would recommend doing something like that as a dance starter to get the group moving. The one good thing our band did was play cover songs, so even though the teens might not know the lyrics to their songs, they could sing along throughout the night to the ones they did know.

And don't forget to put out a display of zombie books for the teens to check out after the prom!

How did it go:
Zombie Prom was a huge hit and we had a great crowd. Everyone dressed up-from  something simple to all out zombie makeup and masks. I think next time I'd add a few more crafts or something to do for the non-dancer teens. The entire event lasted 1 hour and a half, because we had to close the library. But the teens would have stayed longer if we'd let them! We also had a great turn out from guys and girls and all ages-zombies had a mass appeal.

If you've done a zombie prom, I'd love to know how you ran the program!


  1. This sounds awesome. We've had some kids ask for something like this, so I think if they're still interested when the summer's coming around again, we may try it out...

  2. This was a great post. I love the idea of having a dance at the library for teens. And the fact that it was zombie themed is that much greater. This is a great way to get teens to the library. And creating a theme that won't scare away the male teens. I love your ideas and tips about getting it set up and what the library will need for a program like this. Again, great post!
    Thanks, Tiffany


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About Me

Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a Youth Services Manager who works with kids, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! I started my blog in 2008 as a way to keep track of what I've been reading and to use a reference tool for reader's advisory and it's grown into much more than I could have ever anticipated. In addition to book reviews, I also enjoy posting audiobook reviews, booklists and my adventures in being a librarian. 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker Committees: 2021 Newbery Committee 2018 Odyssey Committee 2016 Caldecott Award 2013 Michael L. Printz Committee- Fabulous Films Committee I have also served on the Cybils, Missouri State Library Association Readers Selection Lists, and as an Audies judge. Presentations :  I have offered various presentations at local, state and national libraries and conferences. Topics have included:  What's New in Children's & Teen Literature Engaging Teens in Reader's Advisory Gee