The State Worker

A call to California state workers: Read books and win prizes

California State Librarian Greg Lucas
California State Librarian Greg Lucas The Sacramento Bee

Summer bookworming: It’s not just for kids fighting the doldrums.

California’s Summer Reading Challenge, which is trying to sign up 1 million state residents of all ages, will get a new crop of entrants this year through a program that is encouraging state employees to participate.

State Librarian Greg Lucas said Tuesday that librarians in his department at first talked about encouraging their coworkers to sign up, then thought more broadly about reaching out to the entire state workforce.

“Halfway through the first sentence, I said, ‘I’m in,’” Lucas said. “This is cool.”

Now his office is sending details to departments statewide, he said, and has posted information on its website.

Every reader involved in the state program counts toward the 1 million readers challenge, which can be followed on Twitter, #onemillionreaders.

California’s 1,100 libraries are signing up participants between now and Aug. 31. The state library program will take state-employee applicants. Here’s how it works, and how you earn a chance to win prizes at the end of the summer:

▪ Read or listen to a book.

▪ When you finish, send an email with the book’s title to

▪ The state library will keep track of entries using the submission email addresses and then use that information to contact winners.

▪ Winning entries will be drawn and prizes distributed in early September.

Lucas said prize details haven’t been determined.

“We haven’t figured out the shape of that just yet,” he said.

Every completed book represents one chance to win. Books in the the state library’s inventory get two chances at winning. To see if a text is in the state collection, go to, click “Ask a Librarian” on the left and then type in the title.