NIOGA launches second ‘Check Out Challenge’

Staff Reports Posted 1 April 2017 at 5:14 pm

Libraries show they have more than books, with free digital resources, including music streaming, DVDs and video game rentals

Photos courtesy of Joe Russell: Bob Conrad, director of the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia, shows off his Check Out Challenge spirit.

The NIOGA Library System this morning launched its 2017 Check Out Challenge during a kick-off event at the North Tonawanda Public Library.

The Check Out Challenge is an awareness initiative aimed at engaging young adults and raising awareness of the countless free, digital services available at NIOGA libraries in Orleans, Genesee and Niagara counties.

Now in its second year, the Challenge has expanded to include a hidden book scavenger hunt across Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties, which was inspired by a whimsical original video filmed in Western New York. Click here to see the video.

To spread the word about the Challenge and encourage young adults to visit their local library, books have been hidden near libraries in the three counties. Special bookmarks inside these books instruct finders to return the books to their local library for a prize.

“After a wildly successful first year of the Check Out Challenge campaign, we are excited to debut this video that shows unsuspecting people stumbling upon talking books and add a new element to this year’s Challenge with the hidden book scavenger hunt,” said Charlie Begley, president of the NIOGA board of trustees. “It is critical that we continue to engage younger generations to introduce them to the free, digital resources available at their local library, including music streaming, DVD and video game rentals and so much more.”

Library patrons can pick up their Check Out Challenge punch card from their local library April 1-15.

Anyone ages 10 and up can take part in the 2017 Check Out Challenge by picking up a punch card at a participating library and choosing at least five of these seven activities to complete:

• Get/show your library card

• Connect to our free Wi-Fi

• Stream a song, movie, or TV show

• Post a library selfie with #CheckOutChallenge

• Download an eBook, eMagazine, or eComic

• Check out a CD, DVD, video game, or book

• Ask your librarian a question (Don’t be shy!)

Participants can drop off their completed cards in the challenge bucket located at each participating library to enter to win prizes such as a PlayStation 4, GoPro HERO5 Session camera and Fitbit Blaze.

Last year, 7,200 individuals took on the Check Out Challenge across the NIOGA library system, checking out 142,080 books, songs, videos, audio files, magazines and eBooks. A 12 percent increase in library card registration was realized system-wide. Additionally, the Check Out Challenge campaign took home 10 awards at last month’s Western New York American Advertising Awards.

For more information about the campaign and contests, visit, like NIOGA on Facebook and follow NIOGA on Twitter.

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