On Jan. 1, Winter Reading Challenge to begin for the second time in Sarasota County

‘Shark Tank’ investor Mark Cuban has offered $35,000 donation to top performing libraries

Image courtesy Sarasota County

On Jan. 1, 2019, the Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources Department will launch the Winter Reading Challenge for the second time, the county has announced.

The national reading competition is sponsored by billionaire and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban, a news release explains.

Cuban, who also owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, is challenging more than 100 public libraries across the country to encourage people to read a total of 75,000 books, which would take a total of 5 million minutes, the release points out. “If the goal is met, Cuban will donate $35,000 to the top performing libraries,” the release adds.

The first time the county libraries conducted the program was in 2017, the release says. That year, “participants achieved the goal of reading 1,000 books,” the release adds.

Collectively, 30,000 readers from libraries across the country read more than 84,000 books, which was said to have taken nearly 7 million minutes, the release continues.

Sarasota County library patrons of all ages are challenged to read for 6,000 minutes, the release points out.

“This is a fun, interesting program, and we’re honored to take part in the challenge,” said Sarabeth Kalajian, director of the Libraries and Historical Resources Department, in the release. “It’s a wonderful way to encourage readership and inspire those to discover new stories and adventures.”

Registration for the challenge is open. To register, visit the following link.

For more information, call the county Contact Center at 861-5000 or visit scgov.net.