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Cumbria's library service is celebrating a podium finish thanks to a national bronze award for its annual Six Book Challenge.
The Six Book Challenge has been run annually from 2008 by Cumbria County Council's library service and takes place between January and June. It's aimed at adults who are not confident about reading – the idea behind it is to help people get into reading, in many cases for the first time.
Participants read six books and record their reading in a diary in order to receive incentives, a certificate and the chance to enter a national prize draw. Cumbria's library service held its most successful challenge ever in 2012 with with 69 people starting the challenge and 55 completing it - an overall completion rate of 80 per cent.
To underline this success the library service has been given a bronze award by the Reading Agency for its work in supporting people to complete the 2012 Six Book Challenge, including monitoring, data returns and the evaluation process. Cumbria's library service was also sited as an example of best practice.
Cumbria's library service Six Book Challenge included the following activities:
Barrow area - 20 adults from three Cumbria Care Day Services groups who had learning disabilities.
Kendal area - 35 ESOL (English for Speakers of other Languages) students.
Whitehaven area - 14 people from Hensingham Day Centre for people with learning difficulties.
Cllr Gary Strong, Cumbria County Council's member for the library service said: "This is a tremendous achievement for both the library service and the people who took part in the challenge.
"All of the staff involved can be proud of their hard work, energy and input working with the groups, making sure that this was a quality and life enhancing experience. It has led to the development of a vital skill which those taking part will use for the rest of their lives."
Nationally 23,500 registered for the challenge – 12,000 through public libraries, 6,000 through colleges who have signed up directly with us, 4,000 through prisons and 1,500 through workplaces.