Winter Reading Program offers prizes

— Winter's cold temperatures, wet snow and icy roads can sometimes keep a person indoors when he or she might otherwise go out.

So what better time to encourage a cozy read through a good book?

The Moffat County Libraries Craig branch began its first Winter Reading Program on Tuesday, a reading encouragement program to compliment the library's annual summer series.

Winter Reading will go until March 31.

"We're just promoting literacy and reading," said Director Donna Watkins, Moffat County Libraries director.

Programs like this help public libraries establish more of an extroverted presence in their communities, Craig Branch Manager Sherry Sampson said.

"They get people to come in that maybe don't have a library card and maybe don't come in that often," Sampson said.

The program isn't exclusively for library-goers, though.

For each book or audio book read or listened to, a person fills out a little card that is then entered into a drawing.

People can fill out cards for any book or audio book they finish, Sampson said, regardless if they checked it out from the library or found it gathering dust on their bookshelf at home.

"The more they read, the more they can put in for the drawings," Sampson said.

Prize drawings - grab-bag gifts such as book collections - will be held at the end of January, February and March.

Craig's winter library program is similar to others around the country, Watkins said.

Getting people into the library "raises awareness about reading programs and public libraries around the state," she said.

Libraries tend to focus on summer reading programs for children because that's when school is out and a typical child might look at vacation from school as a vacation from reading, too, Sampson said.

"The summer programs are particularly big," she said. "There's always a theme and the whole state follows it."

The library wanted to use Winter Reading to encourage reading in more adult residents. As such, the program is open to anyone aged14 and older.

Interest is already showing up. As of 12:05 p.m. Wednesday, there were six entries.

For more information, call the Craig branch at 824-5116.

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