Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Award

Every year I tell myself that I am going to have our school participate in our state association's book award voting. Of course, I never actually do this. Elementary schools do such a great job promoting this, but I am not so sure that middle and high schools are as effective in doing this. This makes me wonder what changes. I suspect book length might play a role. Elementary librarians have an opportunity to share all of the nominees with the students prior to voting. Middle and high schools have to be more creative in their promotion of these books. Don't we want to show that we value good books?

This year it all changes for me. I am taking small steps to ensure that my students are involved. Earlier in the school year I purchased at least two copies of each book and created a display area for the books. I also created this nifty sign for the display.

As the nominees are returned, they are placed back on the nominee shelf. It is not uncommon to go by the shelf and see only one or two of the books. That means the kids are reading them, but now how do I get them to vote? I have created a Google Doc survey for students to complete and that way I can easily tabulate the results. Students will receive bookmarks with the web address for voting. 

Hopefully next year we can expand the activities we are doing to get students involved. 


  1. At our elementary school, we have a poster with book titles. Each class is assigned a colored dot and when they have read a book, they write their name on the dot and place it on the poster. We have done this for 3 years and even though there are no rewards besides being able to put up a dot, it is very successful! We have at least 50 students each year who are eligible to vote on the nominees (having read at least 2 books).

    At our middle school, students who read at least 10 of our teen award nominees get to attend a party at the end of the school year and our guest of honor is the principal. We usually have 10 -15 students who meet the challenge. Anyone who reads 2 or more gets to vote.

    For both of these nominee lists, we collect our school totals and forward the data to the state association.

    We haven't yet participated in the lower elementary awards list, although I do purchase all the books. Next year!

  2. Kathy,

    Thanks for sharing. I love the idea of a party!

  3. Sounds like a good start. My colibrarian and I booktalk our nominees for our high school classes, especially tenth grade at orientation. (Our orientation was a two parter this year--one was the do nots and it took place in the classroom; the other the wow programs, tour, how to checkout in the library). We ended the "do nots" session by showing slides and talking the books. We have a special display on a wall highlighting previous winners, and then a list of current nominees. All the nominated books are here, and as kids approach the area, we visit, strike up a conversation, and encourage kids to read. This happens a lot with tenth graders, as their English classes still have sustained silent reading requirements. We have used qr codes on our books too, which link to book trailers if they are available. We make an 11X17 color poste for the tenth grade classes and spread others out in the hallway, and these posters have the covers showcased, and then the title Read any? VOTE. Our voting has to be done by March 1 so its time to get those posters out now. We have roughly 150 kids participate (which is not great considering how large my student population is. ) SIgh. Right there with ya.

  4. We have a party for those that have read at least three of the twenty SC nominees. Last year we had the voting commission bring out the voting booths so they were able to vote using those, which they loved. They bring them for free and see it as an outreach. Might be something fun you could try too.