Library close to reading goal

Published 10:27 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Suffolk community has completed 79 percent of the summer reading challenge from Suffolk Public Library as of June 9.

The library has participated in plenty of reading challenges, and readers continue to gain momentum. As of Monday, the library needs only 1,649 books to be read to complete its lofty 8,000 book goal.

They have been tracking their progress with Beanstack, the same online platform used in the Winter Reading Challenge held by software company Zoobean and “Shark Tank” billionaire investor Mark Cuban.

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“It is a very convenient tool to have in terms of tracking,” said community relations coordinator Angie Sumner.

The library also offers paper logging options for some guests, and library staff log the books online for them.

If the community can finish the 8,000-book goal, participants will get to slime three Suffolk Public Library staff members at the Grand Finale Carnival that will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 4 at the vacant lot at the corner of West Washington and Lee streets.

“I’m sure we will beat the goal,” Sumner said.

The success with the reading challenges has continued because of the excitement surrounding previous challenges the library has had.

“We had a really great rally behind the winter reading challenge, and I think people remember the excitement of that one,” Sumner said. “Plus, summer is a fun time, and people are always asking about our summer programs. People were anticipating something exciting.”

It seems that the library staff will be slimed by the end of the challenge, and next week the library will start the voting for what three lucky staff members will be slimed.

Having these challenges brings education to summertime in a way that is engaging to the community.

“Not only is this for the benefit that reading has on an individual basis, but it gives the community a chance to belong to something big,” Sumner said. “This brings them together working towards a communal goal, and it gives them a sense of competition.”

The last two reading challenges have been successful, with both exceeding their original goals, and the library hopes to continue challenges as long as the community enjoys them.

“We respond to the community,” Sumner said. “If people are interested and getting into the reading challenges, we consider that when we plan our seasonal programs.”