Monday, October 29, 2012

Story Action Pod: Election Edition!

C/O Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
I went back and forth a lot as to whether I should put something in the Story Action Pod about the election. I've heard of other libraries doing Vote-for-Characters, such as Best Bear in a book or something; I'm sure that works for them, but I just couldn't get excited about it. And as Joyce Sidman said in her luncheon address at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference last week (more on WLA later): "Kids know when you're really into something." And I just wasn't. (On a personal note, the first election I could legally vote in ever was the 2000 presidential election. Hopefully, you can see how that would be a total bummer).

More than that, though, I have a problem with any kind of program that doesn't have a far reach. If they have to come at just a certain time, or they have to come back to get anything out of it, or if they have to read widely to even know what they're talking about... okay, so I know I sound like a jerkface, like I don't want kids to read or something, but our regular patrons are just a small scope of who we serve.

BUT: the Story Action Pod allows for a small engagement in the library no matter when you're there, who you're with, what you read.

So I decided to create a Story Action Pod based on a book that kids could use to make an informed opinion in one sitting: Shark vs Train by Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenheld.

If you don't have this book in your collection, you should probably get it immediately. We have 2 copies that are ALWAYS OUT, except for today, so I could check it out, because it's a Shark vs. Train miracle.

As always, I set up the book with directions for voting and the ballot (located below for easy download).  Then, my coworker created some awesome "I Voted Today" stickers. Suddenly, this idea had a trifecta of Kid Friendly Things:
1) Sharks
2) Trains
3) Stickers


I totally figured out how to share with Google Docs. Sorry they're in PDF so they're non-customizable. Didn't do that to be all Big Brother, just Word Doc wasn't translating well when I opened on Firefox.

Shark vs. Train Directions:
Shark vs. Train voting sticker:
Shark vs. Train Ballot:

Enjoy! And may the best candidate win.


  1. Shark all the way!

    And kudos on such an kid friendly and engaging way of connecting kids to the voting process.

  2. Just noticed the ballot and directions are switched. What is labeled "directions" on the page is actually the ballot. And vice versa. Very cute idea! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for the heads up! Fixed that now.

  4. Awesome! Thanks for sharing! My regular evening story time just happens to fall on election night, so I'm totally going to give the kids a voting opportunity.

  5. Early returns at my library show Shark coming in for a landslide victory.

  6. Exit polling is never really an accurate representation of the outcome. Also, Shark may win the popular vote but Train might've stumped harder in age groups with more electoral votes.

  7. I love this idea! What did you print your stickers on?

    1. Hi Sarah! I printed them on Avery sticker paper. You can get templates for Word :)

    2. Do you happen to remember what size/number the template was?

    3. I WANT to say these were them: