by Stephen Dafoe

The Morinville Community Library will be hosting a 50-Hour Read-A-Thon this June and are looking for as many as 200 volunteers to read aloud for a minimum of 15 minutes.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. Friday, June 2 until 2 p.m. Sunday, June 4.

Library Supervisor Ashley Cain said the idea originated with library staff member Stacey Buga who had been brainstorming about something the library could do to build a bit of hype about the library’s upcoming 50th anniversary this September.

“She had heard of other places doing read-a-thons, and at first we weren’t sure if something like that would fly here,” Cain said, adding Buga’s was persuasive in her argument. “We’ve decided to organize one.”

In addition to promoting a half century of library service in Morinville, the event will also advocate for literacy and language.

Although the library would require 200 volunteers to read 15 minutes each to fill 50 hours, volunteers can sign up for more than one slot.

“You have to do a minimum of 15 minutes, but you can book up to a full hour if you wanted to,” Cain said, noting some hours would be themed. “Some of it will be for Canadian literature, written by Canadian authors. [We’ll have] short story hours. We have a Highland Romance Hour happening in the middle of one of the nights, Harry Potter Hour, and that kind of thing.”Additionally, the Library is inviting authors to read from their own work.

Although 50 hours of reading is an ambition undertaking, the library already has approximately 16 participants, and four volunteers signed up to start the ball rolling. They need a total of 13 volunteers committing to four-hour shifts and a large number of readers.

While the event is a passive event, Cain said those interested in getting their reading time sponsored by family and friends could do so.

“Any money that they are able to raise for us would go towards our 50th Anniversary celebration week,” she said, adding a donation bin will be available during the 50 hours of reading. “For us, it is mostly about community involvement. We don’t want people getting involved just to read. We want people coming down to listen [as well].

For more information or to sign up for the 50-Hour Read-a-Thon, contact Ashley Cain or Stacey Buga at 780-939-3292 or info@morinvillelibrary.ca

The Facebook Page for the event can be found here.

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