In February of 2013, I decided to try something different and apply the principles of March Madness to books. I saw a post on a library listserv and it had me wondering if it could be done. After some time planning out the dates and books, I launched the first ever Tournament of Books. Our very own March Madness with the list of award nominee titles. Since the list of award nominee is usually about 24 to 30 titles I used data from our circulation program to see if there was a correlation between the most checked out titles and the nominees. Turns out, data talks. The list really was the award nominees. 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio is the 2013 winner, but not without some heated competition in all the rounds. The best thing was to see the same excitement one might have over a winning team employed with books. It was a bigger success than I even imagined.

Based on the success of this year's March Madness we are starting the process of looking at 2014 nominees.

Here's the calendar of March Madness:

May-October: Read from the list of nominees. The list comes from books on a variety of lists most notably the Young Reader's Choice, Michael L. Printz, National Book Award, Evergreen Young Adult, Newbery and Oregon Reader's Choice. There is often overlap between these lists. If a book is on that list, then it's likely it will be a nominee.

If a student has a book they want to nominate, it must meet the criteria. First it must have a copyright date of 2011, 2012, 2013 or even 2014. By January of 2014 the data will once again dominate. It will be used to assess whether a book moves from the 30 to the 24 and then through the ranks.

September-January: Book talk the books on the list.

January-February: Monitor circulation.

February -Using the circ data, start adding a filter of the titles in the top 30 most checked out items.

Mid-February-Being a draft of the 24 to make the team. Then prepare the brackets and begin review of the stats