Chapel Hill Public Library will be hosting its annual Book Bingo this month until Jan. 31.
In order to participate in the event, which began on Dec. 10., patrons may come in and receive a bingo card from a librarian. A selection of bingo cards that patrons can choose from can be previewed on the Book Bingo section of the Chapel Hill Public Library website.
Each card contains specific classifications of books to read, such as a book with a blue cover or a book by a North Carolinian author.
The game is free of charge to enter, and no purchase is required to win prizes. Those who complete their bingo card receive a free reusable tote bag.
“You get a card, and for your first bingo, you turn it in and you get a free tote bag that says ‘I heart books,’” said Susan Brown, the Director of Chapel Hill Public Library. “Then, you can get another card and keep playing.”
The theme this year is the “'Best of' Book Bingo” from previous cards, so readers will be able to claim “bingo” if they fill out any old cards from the years 2016 to 2020, Brown said.
There are also weekly prize drawings. Every bingo participant’s name is entered into weekly drawings to win a swag bag of books, she said.
Book Bingo is part of Chapel Hill Public Library’s winter reading program, Brown said.
“Most public libraries do a summer reading program which we do here as well, but not all public libraries do a winter reading program,” she said. “It's smaller in scale than our summer program, and it's really just about engaging readers and encouraging reading in a fun way.”
Brown hopes the program will engage people with books and encourage readers to try genres that normally do not interest them.
Karin Michel, the youth and family experiences manager, said that books go hand-in-hand with child development.
“From a real early age, there's a connection between having books available in the house and academic excellence," she said. "This includes staying on target in reading on grade level. That's shown from when when they're real little. If there are more books in the house, they're more likely to learn to read around kindergarten or so.”
Sarah Glas, a UNC student, said that she reads a lot but doesn't go to the library as much as she wishes she did.
“I feel like, growing up around books, it’s important to have somewhere nearby to access them,” she said. “If they can make their programs easy for kids to get interested in, I’m all for it. Kids should definitely learn to read in a way that seems fun to them.”
Chapel Hill Public Library also has other programs for patrons to be a part of, such as an outdoor and environmental education program, Brown said. The library also hosts bird-watching programs when the weather permits them.
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