Zombie Craft-pocalypse at Iowa City Public Library


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Twelve-year-old Max Collins knows exactly what he would do in a zombie apocalypse: climb into a tree and find things to throw.

"The Subway slogan after the zombie apocalypse: Zombie eat flesh," Max said jokingly.

Max was one of several local youths at the Iowa City Public Library's Zombie Craft-pocalypse event Tuesday as a part of the Teen Summer Reading Program. The zombie theme was chosen for the week's event because of its current influence in pop culture.

"It's been the new hot topic," community services librarian Jason Paulios said. "Vampires have been played out."

The public event invited teens from grades seven through 12 to gather at the library and craft different zombie characters.

The "felties" were made out of pieces of felt sewn and stuffed together.

Sam Gienapp, 12, shared the imaginary story of how his zombie came to be with the group.

"He was a mental patient who ran away into the Siberian wilderness," he said while sewing on the finishing touches.

The Summer Reading Programs at the Iowa City Public Library are funded entirely by the Friends Foundation — a nonprofit organization made up of Iowa City community members.

"We wouldn't be able to do it on this scale [without the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation]," Paulios said, referring to the weekly events.

He said the library usually sees around 25 to 30 participants at its events and concerts each week.

Throughout the summer, the reading program puts on weekly events related to the "own the night" theme. Next week, the Macbride Raptor Center will visit the library with owls, and the participants will have the opportunity to dissect owl pellets.

Participants also had the option of creating a zombie using a paper-folding pattern.

Last week's summer kickoff event was a concert with United Action for Youth that showcased local bands. This organization in part with the Public Library have been working together for years with the Summer Reading Program events, Paulios said.

There will be book club and movie events in July, in which participants will read a book and then watch the movie version.

While they worked on their zombies, the attendees discussed how much zombies were a part of their lives. All of them have seen zombie movies and played zombie video games.

"We don't really know why [zombies are cool], they just kind of are," Ethan Nelson-Moore, 14, said. "They eat people."

Both Sam and Max have played zombie-theme tag.

"I don't really believe in supernatural stuff," Max said. "But I like to mess around with the idea of zombies; it's entertaining."

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