Read to win at Suffolk libraries

Published 10:36 pm Thursday, July 25, 2019

The deadline for the Suffolk Public Library’s Camp SPL Summer Reading Challenge is fast approaching, and readers of all ages have the opportunity to make the final push towards the finish line before time runs out.

As of Thursday morning, 12,366 books have been logged, according to Suffolk Public Library Communications Coordinator Angie Sumner. The library started the challenge on June 15 for readers to log 14,000 books before the Camp SPL Grand Finale Carnival on Aug. 3.

The library is inviting families to “Camp SPL: Read-In” programs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Tuesday and Wednesday to help log more books for the challenge. Tuesday’s “Read-In” will be held at the North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road, and Wednesday’s program will be held at Morgan Memorial Library, 443 W. Washington St.

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Families can bring their own blankets and favorite books for the free, public reading sessions. There will also be a limited number of blankets provided at both sessions, plus a tent.

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 used in the library’s Winter Reading Challenge.

Readers who have yet to participate can still log books that they read this summer. They can also show up at the read-ins next week and find a new book to breeze through in comfort.

“We’ll have tents and blankets available so people can cozy up,” Sumner said.

The community’s prize for reading and logging 14,000 books before the deadline is a “Color Blast” at the Grand Finale Carnival next week. Participants will toss colored powder in the air together and watch as their clothes become vibrant in a swath of different colors — which is why white shirts are highly recommended, should readers complete the challenge in time.

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

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.

There will also be separate raffles at the carnival with even more fun prizes, Sumner said.

The community can cast their votes on the library’s social media for their summer “cabins” leading up to the carnival. Each cabin is a different duo of library staff members, and each has its own unique mascot and attitude.

Voting will continue through Aug. 2, and the winning cabin’s counselors will open the Color Blast at the downtown carnival on Aug. 3.

“They will play a very important role as they lead the charge to rain down colors on the community at the carnival,” Sumner said.

The Beanstack App can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. More information about the Summer Reading Challenge can be found at

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