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The Library Olympics are a thing

Sure, Rio has the swimming, volleyball and gymnastics, but does it have journal Jenga and speed sorting?

Yeah, didn’t think so.

The University of Dayton is home to the real competition – the Library Olympics.

Last week the first-ever event was held, proving that skills in referencing and cataloguing can be honed to be as sharp as Simone Biles pulling a back layout with a half twist aerial.

And don’t be mistaken for thinking the competition is full of cute bookish games either. These 'Games' are as serious as the Dewey decimal system.

Journal Jenga – stacking bound periodicals as high has possible before jumping out of the way upon their collapse.

Cart Racing - running a book cart through a twisty course before throwing books towards a target

Speed Sorting - putting books in order by their Library of Congress call number

Librarians were also required to hoof it around the Ohio campus, finding objects that corresponded to different book call numbers.

Originally, the event was meant to simply highlight the importance of keeping librarians full-bottle in the basics, but during the cart racing, librarian Maureen Schlangen had an epiphany which was far more profound.

"The very genius of this system occurred to me: Without orderly cataloguing of the world’s knowledge, even in this age of search engines and high-speed networks, information could easily be rendered obscure in an ocean of data, accessed by mere chance rather than intention," she said.

The Smithsonian reported that winning team made off with the gold by a single point.





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