[OZTL_NET] SHARE: Rock the Drop

Wayne and Peta Wilson wwwprwilson at ozemail.com.au
Sun Apr 21 18:22:36 AEST 2013

Dear fellow OZTL_Netters,

Re: the Rock the Drop challenge Barbara Braxton posted about:

We have been doing something similar in our library for the past few weeks.
I took lots of books off the shelves that had good stories but hadn't been
borrowed since 2009 - the year before our current Year 10s began high school
(we are a 7-10 government high school in the ACT).  To this pile I added
some newly processed books that hadn't gone out on display yet.  I wanted
books that our students most likely had not read (well, not borrowed from
us, at least).  Our library assistant and I covered them in plain brown
paper and tied them up with string - like old fashioned parcels (as sung
about by Maria von Trapp).  We then challenged our students to borrow one
without knowing anything about it.  The string stopped them looking inside
and the only thing they could base a choice on was the book's thickness and
the colour of the pages (white meant a new book and yellowish implied an
older one).  Our library assistant used Oliver to print out the barcodes
onto white paper and we had cut these up and stuck them onto the relevant
book to make loaning the books easy for us.
On the first day, I put our challenge into the daily notices that are read
in Home Groups at the beginning of the day.  Before Home Group was over we
had our first daring readers.  They had apparently begged their Home Group
teachers to let them come to the library immediately - they could not wait.
Others came down during class time as they begged their teachers, too.
Before the end of lunchtime all 60 of the books we had ready were gone and
students were coming to the circulation desk still asking to borrow one.
After two weeks we were still covering and tying more books every day.
My main aim was to take students out of their reading comfort zone as we
have some avid readers but they tend to stick with their favourite genres or
authors.  I also wanted to prove the adage that you can't judge a book by
its cover - plus I thought it would be fun to add a bit of novelty to the
book borrowing process.  We offered chocolate (or an alternative) to them
when they returned the book if they had finished reading it to the end and
could tell us about it.  Our main question was whether they would have read
the book if they seen it on the shelf in its usual state.  Many have
answered that it wasn't their usual sort of book but that they had enjoyed
it and would choose something similar in the future.  Of course, we still
gave chocolate to those who said that while they had indeed read it to the
end it was not a genre or author they would want to read again.  Thank
goodness our other TL loves buying chocolate.
A few parents took the time to either email our principal or tell me at
Parent Teacher Night that they thought it was a great idea and how much
their children were enjoying the 'Mysterious Brown Paper Book Reading
Challenge'.  We think we have finished the challenge, but we'll see what
happens when more of the books come back in after the term break (we have
another week of holidays to go) and whether some students want to keep going
with it.
When I first broached the idea with my library colleagues I thought it might
not take off.  I have been quite surprised by its success and now I'll have
to come up with something to match it for term two!


Peta Wilson
Lyneham High School, ACT

-----Original Message-----
From: oztl_net-bounces at lists.oztlnet.com
[mailto:oztl_net-bounces at lists.oztlnet.com] On Behalf Of Barbara Braxton
Sent: Saturday, 20 April 2013 7:59 AM
Subject: [OZTL_NET] SHARE: Rock the Drop

An idea shared on LM_NET this morning was Rock the Drop which was an event
organised and promoted through Twitter on April 18 (US time) but which might
spark an idea for a similar promotion within your school or community.

Essentially it means leaving books around in various places for students to
find and read - not sure of the logistics of keeping track of who ends up
with what but here's the outline from Elsa Ouvrard-Prettol...

I found all the info here: http://www.melissacwalker.com/rock-the-drop-2013/
and http://readergirlz.com/tbd.html

What I did was to wrap the books in brightly colored paper, for various
1- if a student lost their own book during the day, it couldn't be mistaken
for a 'dropped book'.
2- it would be easily spotted and could be hidden in grass, flower beds,
because it was protected.
3- students weren't sure what they were getting, which added to the
4- because my campus serves middle and high school, I could write on the
paper which levels each book was for, (hopefully) ensuring that a middle
schooler wouldn't get a HS-level book, or a HS student not be stuck with a
book for 6th graders.


Barbara Braxton
Teacher Librarian
M.Ed.(TL), M.App.Sci.(TL), M.I.S. (Children's Services) COOMA NSW 2630
AUSTRALIA barbara.288 at bigpond.com Together, we learn from each other
500 Hats http://500hats.edublogs.org 

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