Junior Book Tournament

I thought I’d share with y’all what I’ve been working on at the Children’s Library since I’m guessing that other youth librarians out there would enjoy seeing/using this.  I’ve generally kept this blog free of my personal library info, but recently I decided that it wasn’t that hard to figure out who I was or where I worked, so why not embrace that and just go with it?

A little more about that:  I’m very honored to be part of a community that values its library.  We’ve been growing leaps and bounds over the past few years, and there’s no signs of slowing.  Last year, the City recognized that we were running out of room and they gifted us with a unique solution: our library was split into two locations.  One location houses materials for Young Adults and older, and one is the Children’s Library.  As of last month, I have begun managing the Children’s Library and March is the first month where a lot of my planning and work will become evident.  Anywho, that’s enough of that – you’ll get to know more about my work as time goes by.

Back to this particular project that I’d like to share:

I’ve seen other libraries do this with epically-awesome wall-sized brackets.  Unfortunately, for us to do that then it’d involve some tall ladders, and I am not a fan of heights.  We also have a lot of other events going on this month and I wanted something that sort of ran itself. Therefore, I decided to make this an online tournament where the children can vote from our website (thus driving more traffic to our newly revamped children’s site).  I also narrowed-down the tournament to Junior Books since it seems like (unintentionally) the Junior crowd gets overlooked here in terms of events – and I want to change that.  The greatest amount of time given to this was to make the bracket itself – and then inserting the book images.  Looking up the top sixteen most checked-out Junior Fiction books from the past year was easy with our library’s software (hopefully it’s easy for most too). But once that’s set up, it’s just a matter of once-a-week seeing who won their bracket and updating the brackets!

In the end I may actually attempt creating a GIF for the winning book’s reveal – something that I’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t had a good reason to.  We shall see (and I shall share, even if it’s a fail).

The basic gist is that we’ll be updating a Word Document that I created and posting that image online once-a-week.  Here’s an example of the template as it sits so far for our particular tourney:

All of the “book” text boxes listed above were just part of an example template we used to show the kids how brackets work.  All of them are removed from the downloadable template at the bottom, except for the 16 outermost text boxes (in case you were wondering).

We’ll be using Survey Monkey to create the online voting system.  The only thing that I’m bummed about is that the kids will have to vote using the text.  Next year I might see if I can find a “visual” voting system.

So, here I am having done all this last-minute work, and it occurred to me that I should share this with others so that they can do something like this at their library or home.  Therefore, I’m going to share my template with y’all so all that you’ll need to do is plug in the pictures and then adjust the sizing (which is sort of a pain – sorry, I’m not an expert, and our library has Microsoft Office and that’s it in terms of creating signs and similar things).  If you have any problems or issues, then please don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’ve never attempted to created a template for others to use before.  But basically, if you’re comfortable with text boxes, then you’ll be comfortable with this!

If you don’t have the font that I’ve used for this template (it’s called Teen) then you can get it for free at the amazing dafont.com (if you’ve never visited dafont before, then be prepared to spend HOURS browsing and downloading).

Please enjoy and share!

Click here for your very own Tournament Template!