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One of a number of crazy group games that a certain group of my friends enjoys playing. The only requirements for playing library infiltration are a relatively large multistory library (college/university libraries work best), and a group of friends -- 2 to 5 people works best, more people could break up into separate teams.

The goal of library infiltration is to make your way through the library, SWAT team style, without ever being seen. Start on the top floor, and make your way through the stacks floor by floor, taking something small from each floor to prove to yourself that you've been there (this isn't really necessary unless you've divided up into competing teams). Your team should work together to avoid being seen, and if any member is seen (by anyone outside of your team), they become a "ghost runner". Ghosts are allowed to be seen, and their job is to distract other people who might be in the library, so your team doesn't get seen while it sneaks by. Incidentally, flirting with people in the dark and lonely recesses of the stacks is not a good way to distract them.

A few notes:

  • If your entire team does get seen, you must start over at the top. Since the purpose of the game is just to have fun, we usually disregard this rule.
  • While taking the stairs down and just darting out at each floor to grab an item isn't strictly verboten, it isn't exactly much fun or much of a challenge. We usually find a library with two staircases, so we can cross each floor from stair to stair.
  • While they can work in some circumstances, elevators are a big gamble -- you never know who will be there when the doors open.
  • No one, afaik, has ever made it completely out of a library without being seen. Keeping in mind this futility, part of the thrill of the game is to invent elaborate plans for traversing the lobby unnoticed. Ghost runners come in very handy at this point.
  • One as-yet-untried variation which comes to mind is to have two teams each start on the top floor and race their way down to the bottom, each following the same rules (teams, I suppose, would be allowed to be seen by members of the other teams).
  • The game of libary infiltration was invented by John Peery and Patrick Baker sometime around 1999. It was first played (and has mostly been played since) at D.H. Hill Library, on the North Carolina State University campus.

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