It's a contest that Belmont’s Library Director Maureen Conners was only too eager to take on.
"We are up to the challenge," said Conners at Arlington's Robbins Library Thursday morning, Jan. 31, where it's library director, Ryan Livergood, challenging three surrounding communities to see which library could increase its new library card registration the most in February (as a percentage increase compared to February 2012).
“When I started as library director in April of 2012,” Livergood said, “one of the things I wanted to do was get out in our community and remind people of the value of a library card.”
Conners, Lexington’s Koren Stembridge and Somerville’s Maria Carpenter all accepted Livergood’s challenge, and at a Thursday press conference at Robbins Library, the stakes were laid out:
The winning library will receive a platter of baked goods from the losing communities’ favorite local bakeries. If Arlington doesn’t win, Livergood will dress up as “Clifford the Big Red Dog” (yes, he already has the costume) and read at the winner’s children’s story time.
The visiting directors said they’re ready for this friendly competition.
“I hate to burst your bubbles, but we can’t wait for the cookies,” Conners said, who brought her team of Belmont librarians – many wearing "Belmont Rocks" T-shirts – up to the podium with her.
See Conners issue her challenge by watching the video on this page.
“I want to wish Belmont, Lexington and Somerville the best of luck,” Livergood said, “but not too much luck, because we intend to win here in Arlington.”
Livergood also spoke about the importance of library cards in general.
“I believe a library card is a golden ticket to one of the most magical places on Earth – the library,” he said. “It’s the one place where everyone in our community, regardless of their background, regardless of their circumstances, they can come in, and they’re empowered to better their lives … in both big ways and small ways.”