The Times West Virginian

December 30, 2013

‘WV Read 150 Challenge’ draws to an end

By Colleen S. Good
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — The year is coming to an end, and for some voracious readers in Marion County, this signals the end of a successful challenge: to get through 150 books in one year.

Why 150 books? The number was chosen to celebrate West Virginia’s 150th birthday this year.

The WV Reads 150 challenge is a state-wide program, and runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of this year.

And while 150 books may seem like an unmanageable number, readers didn’t have to tackle the challenge alone. Competitors of all ages were welcome to form teams of up to 15 people, reading together. Michelle Ross, virtual branch manager for the Marion County Public Library System, suggested that teams select a leader to keep track of books read and keep them motivated.

“Teams have ranged from family groups to book clubs to schools. We also had at least one Boy Scout troop complete the challenge,” Ross said in an emailed statement.

Groups weren’t the only ones to successfully complete the challenge.

“The majority of our participants are on teams, but there have been a few that completed the 150 challenge as individuals,” Ross said.

Libraries in Marion County that are participating in the challenge are the Marion County Public Library in downtown Fairmont, the Fairview Public Library, the Mannington Public Library and the bookmobile.

The contest will continue to run through Tuesday. Participants may turn in their book logs to the libraries in Fairview and Mannington until 3 p.m. Tuesday. However, because the downtown Fairmont library will be closed Tuesday for maintenance, book logs must be turned in there by 6 p.m. today.

Ross said that a lot of reading logs turned in to the library.

“We have been receiving an average of one to two completed book logs a month since around February,” she said. “Now that the contest is nearing an end, there has been a sharp increase of the number turned in across all three of our branches and the bookmobile.”

All kinds of books counted in the contest. Readers could count books they read to their children, library books, books they owned, picture books, chapter books, print books, E-books and audio books. And team members could even count the same book multiple times, if multiple team members read the same book. The point of the challenge was to get people reading.

The libraries are happy with the success of the program, Ross said.

“We’ve been very pleased with the amount of participation,” she said.

Librarians will be processing the logs throughout the week, and everyone who completed the challenge will be entered into a drawing. The drawing will take place Jan. 7, and the winner will receive a West Virginia-themed prize.

Email Colleen S. Good at cgood@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @CSGoodTWV.