Competitive Reading - Missouri Library Association

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Competitive Reading

A presentation for the 2010 Missouri
Library Association Conference by

Patrick Wall & Christa Van Herreweghe

Who are we?

Who are we?

Who are we?

Who are we? (really…)

Who are we?


A highly competitive group of failed/non
-

athletes who like to play to our strengths.


We are currently 10 months into what has
become the preeminent Competitive Reading
contest in the nation (ok, the only one we
know of).


See our blog at:
www.ucplbookchallenge.blogspot.com

What is competitive reading?


A Readers Advisory tool.


A way to develop your library blog.


A way to harmlessly taunt your friends and co
-
workers (well, almost harmlessly).


A reason to ignore your friends and family by
pretending something you wanted to do
anyway is work related.


A way to justify your obsessive reading.

The Readers Advisor Pie at UCPL

Social Media

Staff Picks

Displays

Book
Challenge
Blog

Individual

Book Club Kits

Book Groups

Web Form

Why read competitively?


A lot of us suck at sports. (Real sports; bowling
and video games don’t count).


If you are just counting numbers of titles and
not mentioning that they are all graphic
novels and YA fiction, then saying “I read 105
books this year,” makes you seem kind of
smart. A little odd if you’re saying this to
random strangers, but kind of smart.

Why read competitively? (cont.)


Competitive knitting hasn’t taken off yet.


Fame and fortune awaits….

Ok, maybe just fame.

Our boss’s new friend…

Benefits of competitive reading
(official)


Promotes teamwork and communication.


Improves everyone's RA skills.


Makes “staff picks” lists fun and easy.


Generates ideas for book displays.




Benefits of competitive reading
(actual)


Learn a LOT about your coworkers.


Smug sense of superiority over your co
-
workers if you’re ahead in even one of the
categories.


Someone on staff will finally learn how to
blog.

Is always sweet at work…

Reads only books about Zombies, Vampires and Serial Killers

Behind his “alternative” look is…

A guy who likes a good Western.

Taunt him about his reading totals…

And you CAN make him cry.

Her entries look a lot like what you find on Amazon…

We aren’t even sure if she reads anything.

Tried to recruit Nancy to post on the blog as “Christa”…

FAIL! But boy, is Nancy nice while saying, “Hell no.”

Married a PhD candidate…

We think he might be inflating his totals.

Be Careful…

Of getting ahead of Kathleen in the competition.

Claims to be interested in U.S. history…

Mostly reads Urban Lit.

Worked as an editor for years…

Will humiliate all comers with 300 books a year.

How to set up a contest


Start a blog


We used Google’s Blogger


Word Press is also very popular.


You may already have a blog.


If you are using a content management system, it
probably has a built
-
in blog.


Undoubtedly hundreds of other options are out
there (but we would have had to do research, so
just call a reference librarian and ask them if you
need more information).


How to set up a contest


Make up some rules.


Gather some prizes.


Be creative…you will be surprised what people
might value if you call it a “prize” and tell them
they are a “winner.”


Conference swag (start collecting this today!)


30 minutes of paid reading time


Other


Some ideas for categories


Winners can be chosen for:


Total books read.


Most pages read.


Participation points (make up a way to award
these points).


Random drawing each month of people who have
posted.


Weighted totals.


Best review.


Highest page average.

Cindy is ahead in total books.

0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
Total Books
Cindy
Joni
Raheem
Jeff
Joni is ahead in total pages.

0
5000
10000
15000
20000
25000
30000
35000
40000
45000
50000
Pages
Cindy
Joni
Raheem
Jeff
Raheem

is ahead in books about
ponies.


0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
Ponies
Cindy
Joni
Raheem
Jeff
Lessons learned


Have people tag their entries with their name
(or code name).


Make SURE participants understand they need
to keep track of their own totals.


Require each reader to do their own blog
entries.


Be ready to change rules at any time as long
as it helps you pull ahead in some aspect of
the competition.



Who else will competitive reading
appeal to?


Authors

Who else will competitive reading
appeal to?


Book reviewers

Who else will competitive reading
appeal to?


Publishers

Who else will competitive reading
appeal to?


Convicts

Who else will competitive reading
appeal to?


Persons with obsessive personalities


Who else will competitive reading
appeal to?


YOU!

Next steps


MISSOURI Book Challenge


It’s ON people. Starting January 1
st
, our highly
experienced competitive reading team is
challenging YOUR LIBRARY.


Go to http://mobookchallenge.blogspot.com/

How to set up your Book Challenge


Set up a blog.


Make up your rules and scoring categories.


Offer your co
-
workers
cheap crap
prizes.


Register your team at
http://mobookchallenge.blogspot.com/


How to keep people participating


Cajole them.


Threaten them.


Taunt them.


Offer even more prizes of questionable value.


What next?


Please consider attending

our presentation at
the 2011 Missouri Library Association
Conference


Competitive Reading: The Musical

Many Thanks to Linda
Ballard, our beloved
director AND the 2010
Missouri Library Employee
of the year! And the rest of
the gang at University City
Public Library.

Find out more:

University City Public Library


www.ucpl.lib.mo.us

UCPL Book Challenge


www.ucplbookchallenge.blogspot.com

Missouri Book Challenge
-

http://mobookchallenge.blogspot.com/

Patrick Wall


pjwall@ucpl.lib.mo.us

Christa Van
Herreweghe



christa@ucpl.lib.mo.us