Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Self Directed Programming: Book Fight!

Self Directed (or Passive) programming can be anything you want it to be. They can be as intimate as filling up a jar full of Legos or Skittles and having patrons guess the number in the jar, or printing out a variety of cubee creatures and setting out tape and kid scissors for an hour, then counting how many are left at the end.

Or, you could create your first ever Book Fight/Battle/Challenge/Madness…..

Plenty of people have done this, but I’ve never attempted this at any of my libraries before. Part of it is due to the intimidation factor- you think, OMG, this is a HUGE undertaking, what if the books I pair are ridiculous, what if no one gets it, what if it fails??!?!?!?!?!?!?!

I have to remember that I actually have logic behind this.
First, I figure, worst comes to worse, I have a very interesting display for a month.  And these are all popular titles that have circulated well, and I paired them with similar interests in mind (at least in the first round, The Hunger Games is not going up against The Selection). I have prizes for the preliminary rounds (donated YA books that I’ve saved), and a planned grand prize (winner gets the winning book) so there’s stated rules for the contest.

And, my staff and I can sell it to the teens.

So here’s my pairings for the first round:
  • Vampire Academy Series vs House of Night series
  • Boy Nobody vs I Am Number 4
  • Matched Series vs The Selection Series
  • Iron Fey Series vs Wicked Lovely Series
  • Chronicles of Nick series vs Mortal Instruments series
  • Throne of Glass series vs Prophecy series
  • Hunger Games series vs Divergent series
  • Legend series vs Testing series
My teen wall display:
My brackets so teens can keep track:
And my flyer that is going everywhere around the library and the center:
Fingers crossed and we’ll see how it goes!


  1. This sounds really cool! I would have participated as a teen! Heck, I would still participate!

  2. This is so wonderful! I love the idea of a March Madness book display! Thank you for giving us a play by play. I'll have to try this one next year.

  3. I'm trying this out at our library as well. I like the idea of pairing off similar books. I let the teen vote and select our final 32 and then paired them off by number of votes. We haven't had a huge response yet but we'll see how it goes.

  4. I actually just set up my bulletin board for YA March Madness today, and we have a shared pairing – The Hunger Games vs. Divergent!

  5. UPDATE: We are now on to week three, and have gotten to the FINAL FOUR-
    Boy Nobody vs Divergent, and Prophecy vs The Testing….

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