Over 5 million minutes read during Baker and Blades Library Challenge


September 21, 2021
Matthew Perry
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x240

The annual First Lady of the Commonwealth and Blades Summer Reading Challenge celebrated a successful summer 2021 with participants in library summer programs reading over 5.1 million minutes between July 1 and August 13, beating last year’s effort by more than 3 million minutes. As part of the challenge, libraries set goals with their local communities and worked together to reach them. Some libraries tracked minutes, others tracked community service or hours of reading. Thirty-three libraries met their goals and were entered into a raffle to win signed Bruin’s gear.

“It's so important to encourage kids to read and have fun doing it,” said First Lady of the Commonwealth Lauren Baker. “Seeing that children across the Commonwealth read over 5 million minutes this summer shows me that our kids took on the reading challenge and crushed it. Huge thanks to the libraries for making the Summer Reading Challenge a success!”

Summer library programs help stop the summer learning slide and build skills needed for the upcoming school year. 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 less.

The challenge is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), the First Lady of the Commonwealth Lauren Baker, and the Boston Bruins. Over four million children teens and adults have participated in Statewide Summer Library programming since 2009.  The Statewide Summer Library program is made possible with support from the Boston Bruins, the Massachusetts Library System and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners with Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Below are the libraries that received Bruins prizes:

Signed Sticks:

Hazen Memorial Library

Lakeville Public Library

Bridgewater Public Library

Acushnet Public Library

Holbrook Public Library

Granville Public Library

Attleboro Public Library

Signed Pucks:

Memorial Hall Library, Andover

West Bridgewater Public Library

Newton Free Library

Thayer Memorial Library, Lancaster

Swansea Free Public Library

Weymouth Public Libraries

Levi Heywood Memorial Library, Gardiner

Haverhill Public Library

Thayer Public Library, Braintree

Millbury Public Library

Holmes Public Library, Halifax

Middleborough Public Library

Leominster Public Library

Salisbury Public Library

Needham Free Public Library

South Hadley Public Library

Medway Public Library

Bigelow Free Public Library, Clinton

Saugus Public Library

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.