Sunday, March 25, 2012

Shelf Challenge 2012.

Earlier this week I mentioned a certain Shelf Challenge I'm challenging myself and others to take on for AASL's School Library Month in April. We're each going to read a sample of our library collection (such as all of the "L" authors in the Picture Book section), or at least try, by the end of April.

You've got a week to think about it and I know some of you are struggling with saying yes to the dress, so to speak.

That said, I'm going to let you choose your own adventure for this post.

If you want to know 7 Reasons Why You Should JOIN the Shelf Challenge, read below. If you'd prefer to read 7 Reasons Why You should AVOID the Shelf Challenge, scroll to the bottom of the page.

Did you make your decision? Excellent! Let's waste no time getting down to reason.

7 Reasons Why You Should JOIN the Shelf Challenge

  1. Challenges are fun. Especially ones involving books. And these are your books! You don't even need to do any searching! Just pull them straight off the bookshelves.
  2. You get to cheat! If you choose to read from the Nonfiction or Fiction (Chapter Book) section, you only need to read the blurbs from the inside dust jacket or back cover.
  3. You'll find some gems. If you're like me, there are a ton of books in your collection you've never even read. This is a chance to read a sample of those books. You'll probably come across a couple that make you roll your eyes, but you'll also find a couple of gems you'll readily promote to your students or incorporate into a lesson. Trust me. It will be awesome!
  4. You get to cheat some more! Forget how immense the "S" section is and just hop to a letter you know you can manage. The challenge is to complete all of the books in a lettered section (or span of Dewey numbers). Set a goal within reach.
  5. Inspire your students. You're pulling books directly from your collection. Somebody is going to notice. Let the kids know about the challenge or invite them to read with you. They could stumble upon their next favorite author!
  6. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. No one will know if you don't finish (except you!).
  7. I'll cheer you on! Who doesn't want their own personal cheer leader, right?! Well, you've got me and I'm happy to be on board. People will be lifting you up for School Library Month and I'll be right there with them, only... in your inbox ...and as text ...but you can always turn on your computer's text reader and make my voice sound really cool as I encourage you!
What's stopping you?

Join up here.

Time to flip that coin. Here's your...
7 Reasons Why You Should AVOID the Shelf Challenge
  1. You have to read. Boo! You do enough work as it is. Don't bloggers know how busy your life is already?!
  2. You've already read every book in your collection. Why read them twice?! And only one teensie sample of them at that.
  3. You don't like to be challenged. What was Pepsi even thinking, anyway? It's best if we just back off and let you enjoy your School Library Month in peace.
  4. You'd prefer to celebrate National Poetry Month instead. In this case you could actually marry the two and just read from the 811's, but then your brain might going into poetic arrest and that would be dreadful.
  5. You don't handle failure well. Yeah. That's rough, buddy. If you're really public about your progress, you could actually fail pretty hard. That wouldn't be good for you. But if it makes you feel any better, I won't tell a single soul. In fact, I'll do the opposite and tell them how proud I am of you that you tried! ...oh wait... AVOID the challenge. I take back everything I just said in attempts to comfort you into participating.
  6. Spring Break. Yep. I said it. I'm staring that one in the face, too, as a matter of fact. Perhaps even more ironic is that our spring break begins at the start of this challenge. Spring break's not for reading, right? It's for breaking!
  7. You prefer to watch. Okay. At this point I could criticize your blogger voyeuristic tendencies, but honestly... if you're going to watch the rest of us participate, maybe you could cheer us on. ...but that wouldn't be completing avoiding the challenge after all.
Maybe you should just join up here.

In the meantime, check out three of our participants and what they've locked their sights on:
  • Super Book Lady (@superbooklady) is reading from her Picture Book Section in Maryland.
  • A Bookshelf Monstrosity (@bookmonstrosity) is reading from her Fiction Section in Tennessee.
  • Try Curiosity (@sducharme) is reading from her Picture Book Section in Budapest, Hungary.


  1. I'm a retired librarian and have a huge "to be read" pile that I'm going to focus on.

  2. @shorereader That sounds like a great idea! Thanks for joining us in the Shelf Challenge!

  3. It's also a great time to do some weeding! The library I inherited two years ago definitely needs more of that :)

  4. Ha! @Bookshelfmonstrosity, I couldn't agree with you more! I'm glad you're seeing this for the many advantages I'm also seeing (plus... this is going to be a lot of fun)! Can't wait to be reading and sharing with you!

  5. You're on! We're going with the 811 section in our library because we go all out with Poetry Month in April.

    Our library's blog:

    1. @zitziane Sounds awesome! I can't wait to hear what gems you find in 811! ...and what a great way to celebrate Poetry Month!


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