March Tournament of Books

Many libraries and schools have done their own versions of “March Madness” during the month of March and today I am sharing how we do it at my library! Tournament of the Books is an easy passive program that generates a lot of interest and debate and is overall just plain fun. Please do note, that if you decide to have your own tournament, you will need to make sure you call it something other than “March Madness” as it’s trademarked by the NCAA. For more information about the trademark and what’s okay to use and what isn’t, click here.

Onto the tournament! At my library, both the teen and the children’s side wanted to do a tournament. On the teen side, we decided to go with books, while the children’s side decided to go with book characters. Both sides went with 16 team single elimination. This way it allowed everyone one week to vote for their favorites. Also, if you’re in need of a bracket as a visual, I highly recommend Print Your Bracket. It’s free!

bracket 16

When choosing books, I went with what’s most popular here at my library and teamed them up similarly. Harry Potter vs Percy Jackson and The Giver vs The Maze Runner are just some examples. You’re going to need some space on a wall (or in my case, I used the windows to my programming room!) to put up your brackets.


Here’s a close up of my brackets. I used one inch paper strips and covered everything in book tape. Book tape surprisingly comes off glass very easily!


We had a ballot box already, but if you’re in need of one, this one on is similar to what we have and is a decent price at $35.00!


I created my voting ballots in a similar fashion to the brackets and added a spot for a name and phone number. At the end of the month, I’ll be drawing a name out of those who voted and the winner will get a copy of the final book.


And that’s really it! At the end of the week I update the ballot and the bracket with that week’s winner. I also did a display of all the books that are in the tournament but I added paper covers (see picture below) as all the books were getting checked out! Which is a good thing!


Do you do a March Tournament of the Books at your library or school? Anyone have a clear winner by the end? Or any surprises along the way? Share your experiences below in the comments!


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