Alachua County Library District wins national Winter Reading Challenge

February 25, 2021
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Winter Reading Challenge 2021 Winning Library with illustration of a singing bird

Gainesville, Fla. - The Alachua County Library District is one of six public libraries nationwide to win the 2021 Winter Reading Challenge. The Library District will receive a virtual author visit and a set of 50 books from publisher Simon & Schuster’s “Books Like Us” collection.

From Jan. 1 through Feb. 14, Alachua County Library District participants logged 677,139 minutes of reading and earned 4,607 program badges. Nine participants won restaurant gift cards from the local prize sponsors.

“I’m so proud and impressed with our community for meeting, and then exceeding our reading goals for the Winter Reading Challenge,” said Cone Park Librarian Cameron Burris, who organized the program. “We are grateful to Zoobean and Simon & Schuster for recognizing the dedication of Alachua County readers by awarding us one of their grand prizes. We’d also like to thank our local sponsors, Mi Apá, Gator’s Dockside, and Gator BTW, whose generous prize donations provided a great incentive for readers to join in on the fun.”

Across the U.S., more than 1.2 million readers participated in their local Winter Reading Challenge, logging 26 million minutes in the competition. Library software vendor Zoobean created the #WinterRead2021 challenge for public and school libraries. The Alachua County Library District uses the company’s Beanstack application so that patrons can track their participation in virtual challenges like the Winter Reading Challenge and Summer with the Library. Simon & Schuster sponsored the program and provided prizes for top-performing libraries.

In addition to the Alachua County Library District, winning public libraries are the Montgomery County Memorial Library System in Conroe, Texas; Christian County Library in Nixa, Missouri; Crandall Public Library in Glen Falls, New York; Berlin Public Library in Berlin, Wisconsin; and the Suffolk Public Library in Suffolk, Virginia.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Rachel Cook at 352-334-3909 or rcook@aclib.us.

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