Written by Kelly Sheehy, Content Specialist, Downtown Main Library 

Many adults have fond memories of their Library’s summer reading program; eagerly devouring as many books as possible to win fun prizes. As programs have grown to include events and activities that go beyond books, nostalgic adults are often left thinking, “Wow, I wish there was something like this for grownups.” 

Enter the Winter Checkout Challenge. Created especially for adult customers, the Winter Checkout Challenge encourages you to #StayInCheckout during the coldest months of the year, enjoying all the resources the Library has to offer from the comfort of your own space. 

From January 17 – February 29 you can sign up by simply printing your tracking card or picking one up from your local Branch Library. You’ll even receive a free tote bag that you can pick up at any of our 41 Library locations! You’ll also receive a list of suggested Winter Checkout Challenge activities that fall into four different tracks: books, audio, DIY, and film. Complete five activities of your choosing from either the same track or across multiple tracks and mark them on your tracking card. Turn in the form online or at your nearest Branch Library to be entered win cool prizes! 

Is reading not your thing? No problem! Here are five ways you can crush the Winter Checkout Challenge without picking up a physical book.

Listen to an audiobook 

Okay, so reading isn’t really your jam. But have you tried audiobooks? They are great for multitasking (a form of reading-while-driving that we can fully endorse) and often give authors the opportunity to record their own work. You can download free audiobooks using the Library’s Hoopla, Overdrive, or RB Digital platforms. 

Stream a documentary 

Did you know you have access to thousands of movies, TV shows, and documentaries through the Library’s free streaming service Kanopy? Into indie flicks? Want to learn more about river otters? Interested in the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement? Want to watch movies that are part of the Criterion Collection or nominated for Oscars? It’s all on Kanopy. You can also stream movies and television on Hoopla and Overdrive

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Make a macramé plant hanger using Creativebug 

If you love to DIY then Creativebug is about to become your new best friend. It features thousands of award-winning video classes and tutorials taught by top designers and artists. It’s the perfect way to learn how to do anything from needlepoint to nail art. Plus, how cool is that plant hanger? 

Host a dance party of one with a Freegal music playlist 

Grab your hairbrush-turned-microphone and dance around your bedroom to one of Freegal Music’s curated playlists. Whether you want to listen to the decade’s greatest hits, jump around to happiness themed tracks, or just listen to 84 songs in a row by Beyonce, Freegal hooks it up for, as the name suggests, free! 

Rediscover a Cincinnati treasure 

Maybe you feel sheepish you haven’t visited the Contemporary Arts Center in the last ten years. Maybe you’ve always wanted to go to the American Sign Museum but just never get around to it (hint: you can go for free with a Library Discovery Pass). Even though the Winter Checkout Challenge is designed so you can stay curled up in a cozy blanket all day, you can also use it as an opportunity to get back out into the community. It all counts towards the five activities you need to complete for your chance to win the grand prize! 

For more information about the Winter Checkout Challenge, please click here

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