by Alicia Rudnicki, Library Mix
Americans don’t just love a parade; we love to be part of one too. We also love competitions of just about any kind you can imagine.
Gone are the days when the only way to participate in a parade was to buzz and toot in a marching band or to ride on a float with a tiara on your head and wave at the crowd.
Gone are the days when competition was just about winning at sports or earning good grades.
Now you can strut your stuff in parades and contests as part of a precision lawn chair drill team or a CPA crew that does fancy maneuvers while carrying briefcases or…a group of wacky librarians in costumes who sort of dance with book carts.
Last month, the American Library Association (ALA) held its “Fifth Annual Bookcart Drill Team World Championships” at its annual conference in Chicago. The contest was sponsored by DEMCO, a producer of book carts.
This year’s first place winners of the “Golden Cart” award were from Oak Park, Illinois. The Oak Park team, including male librarians, dressed up as mythical Valkyrie maidens with long golden braids, breastplates, and horned helmets.
Instead of rescuing fallen warriors to transport them to the Norse heaven of Valhalla, they transported the audience with their antics as they spun their carts around the dance floor to strains of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.”
Each team was allotted five minutes to decorate their carts before performing and four minutes to complete their routines. (Those who love libraries and contests may also want to read about the irreverent and equally fun competition called Pimp my bookcart.)
Online videos of bookcart shenanigans
Popular children’s authors Mo Willems and Jon Scieszka, who—like the librarians in this story—are also well known for their absurd senses of humor, were emcees for the event.
Broadcaster Gabriel Spitzer’s podcast about the competition for “All Things Considered” is available on National Public Radio.
Spitzer noted Willems and Sciezska as saying that the underlying message of the contest is, “Support your local libraries and the crazy people who work there.”
Precision library book cart drill teams are popular nationwide as evidenced by the many videos online capturing the action at parades and at state and national competitions. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to see a team dancing down a street near you sometime soon.