The year 2019 marked a historic Summer Learning Challenge in the Pioneer Library System.

Shifting away from the longtime name of “Summer Reading” due to the role of the library being more than just books, community members were given a chance to earn points through activities that included reading books but also taking part in library programs and presentations and learning about the STEM-related services in their library. The challenge ran throughout May, June and July.

An initial goal of one million points earned throughout the library system fell quickly, as library patrons hit that number by just the second week of June. So staff set a second goal of three million points that readers again attained.

As a reward to PLS communities for reaching this year’s goal, more than 4,500 books have been purchased to be donated to children throughout the library’s three-county area. PLS is working directly with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, McClain County Health Department and Cleveland County Health Department to distribute the books during the next year.

Staff members recently attached stickers and inserted bookmarks to the books, and they’ll be delivered to the partnering organizations in the near future. The books then will be donated to children age 5 and under whose families are part of the WIC program in each county.

The book donations were funded by the Pioneer Library System Foundation, Cynthia Cooper and the Oklahoma Electric Cooperative.