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Competitive Reading A presentation for the 2010 Missouri Library Association Conference by Patrick Wall & Christa Van Herreweghe.

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Presentation on theme: "Competitive Reading A presentation for the 2010 Missouri Library Association Conference by Patrick Wall & Christa Van Herreweghe."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Competitive Reading A presentation for the 2010 Missouri Library Association Conference by Patrick Wall & Christa Van Herreweghe

3 Who are we?

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6 Who are we? (really…)

7 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:

8 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.

9 The Readers Advisor Pie at UCPL

10 Why read competitively? A lot of us suck at sports. (Real sports; bowling and video games dont 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 youre saying this to random strangers, but kind of smart.

11 Why read competitively? (cont.) Competitive knitting hasnt taken off yet. Fame and fortune awaits….

12 Ok, maybe just fame.

13 Our bosss new friend…

14 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.

15 Benefits of competitive reading (actual) Learn a LOT about your coworkers. Smug sense of superiority over your co- workers if youre ahead in even one of the categories. Someone on staff will finally learn how to blog.

16 Is always sweet at work… Reads only books about Zombies, Vampires and Serial Killers

17 Behind his alternative look is… A guy who likes a good Western.

18 Taunt him about his reading totals… And you CAN make him cry.

19 Her entries look a lot like what you find on Amazon… We arent even sure if she reads anything.

20 Tried to recruit Nancy to post on the blog as Christa… FAIL! But boy, is Nancy nice while saying, Hell no.

21 Married a PhD candidate… We think he might be inflating his totals.

22 Be Careful… Of getting ahead of Kathleen in the competition.

23 Claims to be interested in U.S. history… Mostly reads Urban Lit.

24 Worked as an editor for years… Will humiliate all comers with 300 books a year.

25 How to set up a contest Start a blog – We used Googles 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).

26 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

27 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.

28 Cindy is ahead in total books.

29 Joni is ahead in total pages.

30 Raheem is ahead in books about ponies.

31 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.

32 Who else will competitive reading appeal to? Authors

33 Who else will competitive reading appeal to? Book reviewers

34 Who else will competitive reading appeal to? Publishers

35 Who else will competitive reading appeal to? Convicts

36 Who else will competitive reading appeal to? Persons with obsessive personalities

37 Who else will competitive reading appeal to? YOU!

38 Next steps – MISSOURI Book Challenge Its ON people. Starting January 1 st, our highly experienced competitive reading team is challenging YOUR LIBRARY. Go to

39 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

40 How to keep people participating Cajole them. Threaten them. Taunt them. Offer even more prizes of questionable value.

41 What next? Please consider attending our presentation at the 2011 Missouri Library Association Conference Competitive Reading: The Musical

42 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.

43 Find out more: University City Public Library – UCPL Book Challenge – Missouri Book Challenge - Patrick Wall – Christa Van Herreweghe –


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