Entering through the main school doors, one comes upon a wall covered with photos of students’ and teachers’ faces covered with books aside the Media Center entrance. People’s faces and the book merge together, resulting in amusing images, known collectively to be participants of the Book Face Contest.
The process of entering the competition was fairly simple. “You take a picture with a book of your choice that matches your face well,” junior Cindy Huang said.
The hidden purpose behind the competition was to get students more engaged with books. The Media Center wants to change students’ perspective of a stereotypical library where people only go to study or read into a more multi-faceted place that is fun. “The idea of the Book Face Contest is that you would take a book with a face on the cover and match it with your own face. In general, it is just a fun activity that emphasizes pleasure with books. I knew students would enjoy it,” Media Specialist Tammie Burk said.
Burk created the first Book Face Contest after discussing possible fun activities to do in the Media Center with colleagues and fellow Media Center staff. “I created the Book Face Contest because I thought it would be engaging, and a good idea to see students interact with books more,” Burk said. “Reading is exploring different things in the Media Center.”
The process of organizing a successful event highlights the passion and dedication of the Media Center staff. To garner more attention to the event, Burk advertised it in the morning announcements. Most students who participated were reached out to by the Media Center staff in the hallway. “We took a cart filled with all the books with faces on the cover out into the hallway in front of the Media Center, and reached out to both students and teachers. I want to send the message that the library is a fun, engaging place. I feel the contest is just another unique way to promote reading,” Burk said.
It did not take the library long to find all the books with the faces on them. “I just browsed different genres and collections. I also knew what most of the covers looked like. I first looked at fiction, then biography, then non-fiction. After I went through all the sections and realized I didn’t have enough, I looked online for our books with more faces, for a more thorough search. The media team and I put all the books on a cart for easy student use,” Burk said.
The Book Face Contest was also a great way to promote the library, “The competition gets students engaging and interacting and shows that people can do many different enjoyable things in the library,” Burk said. “Our library has makerspaces, coloring stations and Lego spaces for students to do in the library besides studying and reading.”
This competition takes into account all types of people and personalities, providing a more easy-accessible opportunity. “This competition was great for everyone. Shy people can take a picture without showing their face so it is suitable for all,” Burk said.
The competition was initially supposed to be a one day event on Jan. 19, however “many students still wanted to do it so we still took pictures on the following Monday the 22nd,” Burk said.
One teacher who participated was the Humanities and Arts Signature Program coordinator Michelle Hanson. “I walked through the hallway, saw the stacks of books on the cart, and wanted to participate,” Hanson said. “I chose a book that I read before or would like to read. The book I chose also had blue eyes, which matches my eye color.”
The library has changed evidently this year to be more welcoming and active in the school community. “I see that the library has become a very student centric-library. It’s a friendly place that has done a lot more outreaching with various activities. All the different activities are really indicative of how student-centric they are,” Hanson said.
While taking pictures, students were still allowed to check out those books, yet running out of books was not a worry. One challenge though, was finding a book that fit the participant’s face. “I realized the books were not diverse enough, so I really needed to get more books,” Burk said. “I am currently ordering and building a better collection right now.”
The winner will be announced the week of Jan.20. The prize is going to be a gift card to Barnes and Nobles. For the voting process, everyone’s contest photo will be assigned a number and anybody will be able to vote. The benefit about the books covering faces is that students and teachers will not be able to recognize each other as easily. “We welcome participation from both staff and students,” Burk said.
Back Page Editor