library books creative writing roleplaying game

Library Creative Writing Prompts and Roleplaying Ideas

The library provides a wealth of ideas for creative writing and roleplay. It is filled with books on all manner of topics from fiction to information. Even more though, are the possibilities found in myriad characters, secret doors, hidden compartments, lost trinkets, haunting ghosts, and eerie vibes!

This post was lots of fun to put together as we imagined and brainstormed all sorts of possibilities to be discovered by characters in a library. We hope you find something fun here for your writing or roleplay!

Library Creative Writing Prompts

  1. On a dare, you and a friend stay overnight in a haunted library. Things don’t go well and your friend dies, so suspicion falls on you. Can you prove that a malevolent force is responsible?
  2. Late one evening, you’re working in the library, and you think you hear some faint singing. At first you brush it off, but it gets a little louder so you decide to investigate. After persistent digging, you come across a faerie who offers you a choice.
  3. A stranger approaches you and slips you a note. You read it and it seems to be some kind of pattern. If you remove certain books in a particular order, a gateway will open. As you begin to follow the steps, you get an ominous feeling. Do you continue?
  4. The librarian has never really liked you, not since you were a kid dragged to the library reluctantly by your mother. One day you peek through a door that is slightly ajar and catch the librarian doing something illegal. Did they also see you? Your life could be in real danger now.
  5. One day, the town library burns down. People, you included show up to sift through the rubble. Oddly, you find one book that is unmarred by the catastrophe. Why is it undamaged? You slip it under your shirt to take a look at later. What will you discover?
  6. The city archives is choosing a new librarian as the previous one has disappeared. Your name is selected. What will your new role be like and will you discover the reason why your predecessor mysteriously vanished?
  7. Hidden in a book is a potion. Do you drink it?
  8. Behind a panel is a secret door that you discover when you accidentally bump a book shelf. Do you go through?

Library Stuff

The library can be the hub of a community, bustling with the business of the town. Or it could be derelict and abandoned, unused and unkempt, forgotten until a time when the old knowledge is needed once again. What’s in your narrative library to help or hinder your characters?

  • Libraries have some pretty cool architecture; try some of these: portico, porch, veranda, foyer, landing, stairs, columns, colonnade, arches, vaulted ceilings, cloister, closets, alcoves, balcony, mezzanine, multiple floors, doors,
  • books, tomes, volumes, magazines, articles, scrolls, maps, guide books, picture books, dictionaries, reference materials,
  • So many genres, so little time: fiction, fantasy, articles, reference, horror, history, geography, steampunk, life lessons, advice,
  • Library technology could include things such as: microfiche, card files, computers, interfaces, arrays, connection points, wifi, plug ins, adaptors, connection points, uploading stations
  • answers, more questions, riddles, cross-references, codes, puzzles, quandaries
  • shelves, racks, displays, cart, trundle,
  • desk, table, chair, cubby, cubicle, couch, chesterfield, bench, beanbag chair,
  • stationery, papers, files, folders, binders, notepads, notebooks, coil bound pads, envelopes, letters, pen on a chain, quill pen and ink,
  • photos, pictures,
  • painting, mural, tile mosaic, fresco, hologram, design, decor,
  • lamp, lights, chandelier, table lamp, wall sconce, flourescent lights,  hanging lamps, candles, oil lamp, lantern,
  • windows, stained glass window, feature window,
  • cold case files, police reports, unsolved mystery

Library Characters

Here’s a whole host of characters you might find at the library as you wander around. What kind of interactions might you have with each? What might you overhear?

  • librarian, assistant, administrator, curator, archivist,
  • volunteer, helper, host, guide, information desk attendant,
  • student, academic, researcher, political science major,
  • professor, teacher, mentor, leader,
  • lawyer, judge, sheriff, marshal,
  • scrivener, notary, official, bureaucrat,
  • monk, scribe, holy man, priest, cleric,
  • someone cramming last minute for a test,
  • Curious characters to approach (or avoid): someone crying, an individual talking to themselves, a scribbling woman, a cat hissing, a man squatting in a corner, a pixie perched on a shelf, a hooded figure, a shadow, an alluring individual,
  • children, kid, toddler, brat, fighting siblings, crying baby, running toddler, angsty teen, kids chasing around the book shelves
  • parent, granny, nanny, teacher, day care worker,
  • security guard, police, town guard, sheriff,
  • old man, sage, circle of elders,
  • town crier, protester, flyer distributor,
  • wizard, seer, fortune teller, oracle,
  • performer, magician, clown, juggler, folk singing trio, string quartet, storyteller, busker,
  • seniors bingo club, moms and tots yoga,
  • club members, community league meeting, library board, politician and constituents,
  • speaker, special guest, dignitary, author doing a book signing, famous actor,
  • political activist, rebel organization, underground society, marxist, revolutionary,
  • writer, researcher, freelance writer, novelist, poet, reporter, journalist,
  • philosopher, idealist, advice booth,
  • homeless person, street kid, meth addict, prostitute,