Irvin Young Library uses challenge to connect community readers

Katelyn Black, Lifestyle Editor

In 2018, the Irvin Young Memorial Library gave readers around the Whitewater community the chance to rally around one goal: to read 1,000 books in a single year.

For the staff at the library, like Claire Tidwell, the Makerspace and Programming Librarian, this challenge seemed like the perfect chance to get people from around the area to read more and connect them in a unique way by giving the entire community one number to work toward.

“The idea of the Challenge was a fun, easy way for the community to engage with one another,” said Tidwell. “They could see what others in the community were reading, what was popular, and what they thought about it.”

Tidwell also went on to mention that the challenge was designed for those looking to be a part of something within the community that didn’t overlap with their day to day lives.

“It was a way for patrons to be a part of their community that didn’t take up a ton of their busy schedule.”

On top of the social aspect of the challenge, the Director at the Irvin Young library , Stacey Lunsford, also mentioned another benefit for the community.

“Many people have not been in the library since they were children or in school,” said Lunsford. “Often they are unaware of the unique things the library has to offer — so much more than just books.”

Now, in 2019, the library staff  has celebrated the success of last years challenge with a small party for the participants and has now set their focus on a similar challenge, with an even bigger goal of reading 2,000 books throughout the new year.

“We take every opportunity we can think of to draw people’s attention and try to generate some excitement,” said Lunsford.