Friday, July 13, 2012

Reading Throwdown

I work in a small-town public library. A very small town. Like, barely over 1000 people. Unsurprisingly, it's difficult to get patrons through the doors, especially in summer. We just had our Summer Reading Program, and it was pretty successful. We had a good turnout for events and those who participated in the reading contest read fairly consistently.

But like many libraries, we have a huge gap in our readers. We have a lot of parents who check out picture books for their kids and read to them, but it seems like as soon as the kids are able to read on their own, they stop reading.

We've been brainstorming, trying to come up with a way to get that group in particular to come in and read more. What we finally came up with was a challenge: Me vs Everyone Else in a 3-week reading throwdown. I'll be matching my reading skills against all comers (who sign up officially at the library). If Team Everyone Else wins, they get a party with refreshments. If I win, I get a Shrieking Flying Monkey and bragging rights (in other words, I get to be insufferable).

I'll be posting a running page count (50 pages = 1 book, so younger kids can participate) and a description of the books I read here. I'll also keep y'all up to date on how my competition is faring. Please stop by regularly to check my progress—I can use all the encouragement I can get.


For those who'd like to read along, here are the rules:

The contest runs July 18th through August 8th.

All books must be checked out from the library (inter-library loan counts).

Books must be Juvenile Fiction level or above (ages 10 and up).

You must read the books yourself—being read to doesn't count.

Books only count once per card—re-reading doesn't count.

50 pages = 1 book.

Books must be turned in by 5:30 on August 8th to count.


Anonymous said...

Love this, love you but I'm rooting for the kids!

Peggy Hailey said...

Feel free to send them some words of encouragement. You can send snail mail to the Runge Public Library PO Box 37 Runge, TX 78151 or drop an email that we can print out and show them to

Anonymous said...

Good luck! Success to your reading throwdown! Great idea! I found the key to getting my kids to read was giving them something they liked : bargain was 2 goosebumps on exchange for something mom picked. Daughter is now librarian, son a voracious reader & artist. :0)

Peggy Hailey said...

Thanks! Goosebumps remains popular, and of course vampire/werewolf/witch/etc. stuff is popular with older kids (and adults) as well.