A total of 41,391 items were checked out from the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library during its first 100 days since it opened in September, according to city officials, resulting in an increase in readership by 175 percent.
The surge in readership is a result of the community rising to the “Read with Rex” challenge set forth by Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, which asked the community to pledge to check out an additional 10,000 items within the first 100 days of opening the library, according to a release sent out today by Richardson’s office. On average, 15,000 items are checked out in that regular time period.
The increased readership was spearheaded by the community’s youth with 4,336 of the books checked out being children’s picture books—the largest collection checked out during the challenge, according to officials.
“Since the opening of the new Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library, library patron rates have increased substantially and readership has increased 175 percent!,” Richardson said in a statement. “I am amazed by these results, and incredibly proud of our residents for rising to the challenge.”
The challenge began on Read Across America Day at Colin L. Powell Academy, where students were asked to sign a pledge card and make a commitment to check out books from the new library and read, according to the release. The pledges were collected from children and adults from early March through June 1.
“With over 75,000 visits to the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library, I'm not surprised that we overwhelmingly surpassed our goal of checking out 25,000 items,” said Library Services Department Director Glenda Williams in a statement. “It has been amazing to witness this season of awesome support from the community and Vice Mayor Richardson.”
Editor's note: a previous version of the headline stated there were nearly 42,000 items checked out from the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library. The exact number was 41,391.