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Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Do students have to read all the books?

As a team, they should read all the books. Students are encouraged to read all the books, but with different reading abilities and interests, some children read only one book, or parts of several books.

How can my library get started?

Make a commitment to start in the next Reading Link Challenge year- starting each September! Contact Dana Ionson no later than June 30 if you wish to participate in your community. You will need a staff member to pilot the project, and to commit staff time from the start of the program in the fall, when the schools are invited, to April of the next year when the challenges are completed.

What are the different levels of challenge?

Do I need other library systems to have a challenge?

No, just start small. The first time you conduct a challenge in your community, invite schools in your neighbourhood with teacher librarians with whom you have or wish to develop a connection. Depending on how many teams and how many schools participate, you may start and stop at different levels of the challenge. For example, if you have two teams from a single school (and no other schools participating), you would just have a school challenge for those two teams. If you have a single team each from multiple schools, you would have a library challenge, since there would be no need to determine a winning team from each school if there is only one in the first place. Don't worry if this is confusing! Please see our Contact Us page to send any questions you may have.

Can homeschoolers participate in RLC?

Yes, homeschoolers in grades four and five can participate, if library staff has the time and resources to support them. If there is more than one team of homeschoolers in your library's community, the homeschooler contact(s) will need to organize a "School Challenge" to determine which of the homeschooler teams will advance to the Library Challenge level. If there is only one team of homeschoolers, that team will automatically participate at the Library Challenge level. The homeschooler team(s) should be supported by library staff in the same manner as a group of teams at a school, i.e. provided book set(s), and staff to help run their "School Challenge," if necessary. The School Challenge level is exciting and builds momentum for the Library Challenge, and as such, we suggest you strongly encourage your homeschooler contact(s) to try to form more than one team. If you receive separate inquiries from more than one homeschooler contact, put them in touch so they can work together on a School Challenge to determine which of the local homeschooler teams will advance to the Library Challenge.

How can my library afford this?

The biggest expense is the books. One set of books is required for each registered team. Books selected for the challenge are always available in paperback. Fraser Valley Regional Library coordinates the discounted book order from United Library Service for all participating library systems in the province.

Apply for funding or grants for the book purchases. The Vancouver Sun Raise a Reader program, service clubs such as the Rotary and other programs funding literacy projects have contributed to book purchases. Other expenses include the prizes and any refreshments you choose to provide at your challenges.

Who selects the books?

A team of librarians from Coquitlam Public Library, Fraser Valley Regional Library, North Vancouver City Library, and Surrey Public Library selects the six titles using criteria such as boy/girl interest, reading level, multicultural themes, and Canadian/BC authors.

Who does the questions?

The questions are created by UFV student volunteers. Then the same team of librarians that chose the books vets the questions and sorts them into the various level of challenges. The questions include multiple choice, true or false, and short answer factual questions. Sets of easy, medium and hard questions are mixed in the different levels of competition. A master list of questions is created so that all teams are asked the same questions at each level.

Do we need to have prizes for the winning teams?

The first level, or school level prize can be provided by the local library. The second level prize is usually something that relates to one of the books.

What kinds of refreshments are required?

If you want to offer refreshments, juice boxes and cookies will suffice at all the challenge levels.