Information for Team Managers
Being a Battle of the Books team manager is a very important job. The team manager helps the team work together by dividing up reading responsibilities, helping the team practice, and making Battle of the Books a fun, positive experience. If you are interested in more information about Battle or being a team manager, we will be holding a:
Battle Manager Information Meeting
Saturday, October 22 at 10:30 AM
A panel of seasoned Battle managers, along with library staff, will answer questions about how Battle of the Books is run and will give tips on how to provide the best experience for your team members.
An informational DVD is also available where an experienced panel of team managers explains how they’ve handled this rewarding job. This video is available in the Youth Services Department. There is no charge to check the video out, but overdue fees will apply.
We also encourage you to attend the Battle Briefing in January with your team. You will be able to see first-hand how Written and Oral Battles are conducted and have a chance to ask questions.
As the team manager, it is your responsibility to register your team at the Youth Services Desk. Team registration forms will be included in the Team Manager Packet handed out at the Battle Kick-Off or will be available at the Youth Services Desk after Kick-Off. The completed form must be returned in person to the Youth Services Desk by the registration deadline in January. Some schools have additional forms to be filled out, so also check with your principal, media staff, or school battle coordinator about what is required at your school. A person can only act as team manager for one team; however, they can act as assistant manager for additional teams.
When choosing a team name, remember that school names cannot be a part of the team name and that your team name will be listed exactly as it appears on the form. Your team should also select an alternate name, since team names are given to the first team to submit the registration form to the Youth Services Desk, and your first choice may have already been taken.
It is a hard but true fact of battle that only half of the registered teams will make it to the Second Written Battle, and only sixteen teams will have a chance to participate in Oral Battle Day. But an important part of battle of the books is having fun as a team, and there are many ways to accomplish this regardless of how far your team goes in the battles. Numerous suggestions for fun Battle-related activities are included in the Team Manager Video.
We also encourage you and your team to attend the Championship Battle and the reception afterward, which the library hosts to celebrate all of the teams.
The library staff deeply appreciates the hard work and commitment of the team managers who make Battle of the Books possible.
Helpful Hints for Team Managers
- The following hints have been suggested by previous team managers. Please choose the ones you feel comfortable using.
- Let your team members and their parents know what you expect of them in terms of reading and commitment. Have them acknowledge their agreement to these commitments by signing a permission slip.
- Encourage each team member to read as many books as possible. Some managers divide the books, making each team member responsible for certain books.
- Make a chart with the book titles across the top and your team members’ names down the side. As each member finishes a title, put a star in the appropriate spot. Special recognition could be made for books read a second time.
- Keep notes for all of the books with the main characters, the important events, the settings, etc. listed below each title.
- Track your team’s progress by meeting with them regularly. Remember that reading should - first and foremost – be enjoyable, so keep your team’s interest up and the pressure off by planning fun activities.
- As your team members read the books, have them write down questions and share them with other team members.
- Let each member practice writing down the answers and giving out the answers orally. Divide your team and have mock battles. Give each member a chance to participate in these mock battles. Get your team into the habit of giving the author’s last name first and then the answer to the question.
- Quiz the members periodically for authors’ last names.
- Read some of the books yourself and discuss them with team members. Some parents of your team members may be willing to read books and write questions too.
- As a team, plan to attend the Championship Battle and the reception after the battle.
- Emphasize the fact that every participant is a winner. It is important for your team members to learn to win and lose graciously.