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Closer to Color Blast-off

With more than a month to go, readers have pushed past the halfway point in Suffolk Public Library’s Camp SPL Summer Reading Challenge.

More than 7,600 read books have been logged in 18 days of the challenge as of Wednesday, according to Elementary Services Senior Librarian Deborah Ward. The library began its challenge on June 15 for readers to log 14,000 books by Aug. 3.

“The community of Suffolk is great, and they’re excited to read this summer,” Ward said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Everyone is eligible to participate in the Summer Reading Challenge, and a library card is not required to participate. All ages can log books through Beanstack, the same online platform that the library has used for its Winter Reading Challenge.

Participants may log in with their existing accounts to join the Summer Reading Challenge, or create new ones if they don’t have an existing one.

If the community reads and logs 14,000 books before the deadline, then everyone will be able to enjoy a “Color Blast” at the Camp SPL Grand Finale Carnival that will be held on Aug. 3. Participants will toss colored powder in the air together, ideally wearing white shirts, so that their clothes can become celebratory collages.

Participants in the Summer Reading Challenge also earn one raffle ticket per book read and logged, with three age groups of prizes: ages 0 to 7, 8 to 17 and 18 and older.

One winner will be chosen in each age group and will be able to select from a list of prizes, including a Virtual Reality Oculus Go Headset, Nauticus and Virginia Living Museum annual passes and other selections worth roughly $225 each.

The prizes were made possible with support from Friends of the Suffolk Public Library.

“They’re logging their books, and there’s a lot of excitement around the Color Blast and the different prize packs that they can win,” Ward said.

As part of the library’s social media buildup for the challenge, everyone will vote for their favorites out of five different “cabins” presented by library staff.

Each cabin has a different persona, mascot and two co-counselors. The winning cabin’s counselors will open the Color Blast during the Camp SPL Grand Finale Carnival this August.

Voting will begin on July 24 and will continue through Aug. 2, the day before the carnival.

“Keep reading and logging those titles,” Ward wrote in an email. “Together we can reach the goal and celebrate at the Color Blast.”

The Beanstack App can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. More information about the Summer Reading Challenge and other Camp SPL events can be found at www.suffolkpubliclibrary.com/CampSPL.

Search “Camp SPL Finale Carnival” on Facebook for more information about the Aug. 3 event.