Massachusetts Reads for 1.7 million Minutes This Summer


September 02, 2020
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
1-800-952-7403 x240

From July 1 to August 14, libraries from across Massachusetts challenged their residents to read as part of the first ever First Lady of the Commonwealth and Blades Summer Reading Challenge. Twenty participating libraries met their goals and were awarded prizes from the Boston Bruins including in game experiences and player signed pucks and jerseys.

Despite the difficulties posed by library buildings being closed to the public, libraries reported high participation. In total, challenge participants read over 11,000 books and over 1.7 million minutes. The challenge offered an option for summer reading during an untraditional summer since goals were tracked online.

“For several families, helping their library achieve a goal was an incentive to read more and complete more library activities” said one participating librarian.

Summer reading is an important way for students to retain what they have learned over the past year, and to increase their knowledge through reading and other events. Studies have shown that children who read just four books over the summer do better when returning to school in the fall than children who read one book or fewer. In 2019, 524,032 children, teens, and adults participated in summer reading programs in Massachusetts.

Libraries that completed their challenge were entered into a drawing for Boston Bruins prizes. Below are the Prize Winners. (Please note that Grand Prizes are unable to be redeemed right now because of COVID-19, but will be honored at a later date):

Grand Prizes

Zamboni Experience – Lawrence Library, Pepperell  

High Five Experience – Southborough Public Library

Bench Experience - Norton Public Library

Signed Pucks

Attleboro Public Library

Memorial Hall Library, Andover

Stoughton Public Library

Haverhill Public Library

Boxford Town Library

Fitchburg Public Library

Hazen Memorial Library, Shirley

Plumb Memorial Library, Rochester

Lakeville Public Library

Signed Jerseys

Holmes Public Library, Halifax

Leominster Public Library

Salisbury Public Library

Young Men’s Library Association, Ware

Fiske Public Library, Wrentham

Sunderland Public Library

Middleborough Public Library

Harvard Public Library

Over four million children teens and adults have participated in summer reading since 2009. The Bruins' financial support of the statewide summer reading program, along with federal IMLS Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding from the MBLC and MLS, has allowed libraries to receive summer reading materials at no cost. Some participating libraries are using Beanstack to track their summer progress. Beanstack was made available to libraries through a grant from the MBLC.

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.