From the Stacks
By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian

Take a look at my March Book Madness bracket and you will see that I’m not at all surprised by the titles that have reached the final round. More than half of the 50+ brackets turned in agree, having chosen either “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote, or Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” or both to make it to the very end.

I must admit, I was sorry to see “Bookish Life of Nina Hill” get bounced out of the competition—who doesn’t love a great underdog story? She was our Florida Atlantic Owls and came very close to ousting the literary Kansas favorite. Despite a last minute flurry of votes, the book that put Kansas on the literary map couldn’t be caught (and I had another fun email from Abbi Waxman after breaking the news of Nina’s close loss).

However, “To Kill a Mockingbird” shows every indication of being the sentimental favorite that will take the championship title. It’s garnering votes across all age groups and has taken a significant lead. But voting doesn’t end until Sunday night and anything can happen between now and then. And the way I look at it, Harper Lee will win either way since she accompanied her childhood friend Truman to Holcomb and helped with the research for his book.

When the staff put together our first ever “March Madness: Book Edition” I wasn’t sure what to expect. However. I have been pleasantly surprised by both the number of people who have participated, either by filling out a bracket and/or voting—and by the ages of those taking part, which range from the late teens to eighty-somethings.

Online votes have varied greatly from ballots filled out in the library (something I think would make for a very interesting study by a cultural sociologist). Being of a certain age myself, I’m pleased that older titles have persevered.

The most satisfying result, though, has been the number of people who have checked out the original Sweet Sixteen titles. I never thought of the bracket as a reading list for folks, but why not?

I’m already thinking of ways to improve next year’s bracket to make it more user-friendly; there was definitely a learning curve this year. But thanks for making our inaugural March Madness a success—and be sure to add your vote one final time!