Readers could help Steamboat library bank $10K through challenge posed by Shark Mark Cuban | SteamboatToday.com

Readers could help Steamboat library bank $10K through challenge posed by Shark Mark Cuban

Frances Hohl For Steamboat Today

Alaya McGlynn and son Eamon laugh at the whimsical library book they're reading as they get ready to start the Winter Reading Community Challenge at Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs on Jan. 1, 2018.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Folks in Steamboat always like a good competition, and now they can put their love of reading and winning to good use.

The Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs wants everyone to sign up for the Winter Reading Community Challenge alongside 100 other libraries around the world.

If the U.S. libraries reach their nationwide goal, "Shark Tank" investor Mark Cuban will donate $25,000 to the nonprofit "First Book," which provides books and education tools for needy children. The community who reads the most hours per capita in January will win $10,000 for their library.

"We're the only Colorado library to compete this year," said Sarah Kostin, Bud Werner Memorial Library’s youth services librarian.

The Steamboat library needs to log 3,333 hours of reading in January to meet its share of the national goal so that Cuban will have to donate.

To sign up go to steamboatlibrary.beanstack.org.

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"If you're a parent, you sign up and just add your kids to the account," Kostin said.

Though everyone can sign up and log their reading hours, Kostin said local prizes will be drawn every week for readers 18 and younger.

"Reading out loud to children also counts," said Kostin. "The more times you read, the more chances you get in the drawing."

Prizes include rollercoaster passes from Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., bowling passes from Snowbowl, Howelsen Ice Arena passes, free Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club carnival buttons and prizes from Off the Beaten Path bookstore.

Steamboat's library is participating in the contest through the Beanstack software program that libraries use to help children log their reading hours and habits.

"As you log your reading, you earn badges," said Kostin, who was one of the first librarians who signed up for the software program. "We use it for our summer reading program to track how much kids read so they can earn prizes."

The software is part of the Zoobean business, a web application that was developed by an interracial couple who were having trouble finding children's books with pictures that looked like their family. Zoobean helps families find books and apps for each child's interests.

Cuban bought into the business after the founders appeared on Shark Tank.