Library’s first-ever summer reading program comes to a close

Published 8:07 am Friday, July 26, 2019

The Elizabethton/Carter County Library’s first ever adult summer reading program is coming to a close this week, and its founders have found both ways to improve and a drive to do the program as often as possible.

“This has been unleashed,” Adult Services Coordinator Maryann Owen said.

The six-week reading program had participants turn in weekly logs of various books they read, and each entry went into a drawing for a special prize once a week.

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“I think it was very successful,” Cataloger Becca Dugger said. “People enjoyed it.”

Dugger said part of the enjoyment was the relative lack of commitment necessary to participate.

“People did not have to come here and attend an event,” she said. “It was a take-away thing.”

Dugger said, on average, each week brought in roughly 30 entries, a number they said they were proud of.

One of the biggest challenges the program coordinators faced, however, was spreading the word about it at all.

“Even folks who work at the library do not know the void with our patrons,” Owen said.

She said many, if not most, of those who come to the library do not have internet, meaning they would miss that the program was happening at all.

They said they are already brainstorming ways to get around issues such as that for their next iteration of the program.

Dugger said the weekly Facebook videos announcing the winners of each week’s prize was her favorite part.

“I was the director for the videos,” she said. “It was fun to draw the names and plan out what to record.”

The final drawing, however, the grand prize, has yet to be announced, though Owen and Dugger revealed what the grand prize is.

Any participant who submitted a form at any point during the six weeks is eligible to win a Meade Instruments Infinity 50 Refracting Telescope, complete with 3 different magnifying lenses, 30x, 50x and 150x, to help view smaller, further away objects in the night sky. Accompanying the telescope are star maps to help find objects in the sky to look at and a journal to write down observations.

They said for a program as “simple” as this, the satisfaction was high.

“We already started planning next year’s,” Owen said. “Next year’s theme is going to be fairy tales.”

They said they are even considering doing a winter version of the program as well, for the patrons who were too busy during the summer to participate in a summer program.

The winner of the telescope will be announced Monday afternoon.