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Minot AFB awarded most reading minutes

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. (AFNS) -- Minot Air Force Base was awarded first place for the 2014 Summer Reading Program, for the most minutes read, with more than 1.1 million minutes of reading time.

The Defense Department sponsors the summer reading program annually and it occurs throughout most military base libraries. It took place from June through August and was available to all members on base of all ages.

After coming in second place for the past three years, the Minot Air Force Base Library implemented changes that allowed them to take the win.

"One of our main goals this year was to involve the Airmen a little more," said Julie Reiten, supervisory librarian of the Minot AFB Library. "We held a competition to see which squadron could get the most Airmen to participate. The 705th Munitions Squadron won."

In addition to marketing more toward Airmen and adults, the library also provided a database where members could log their reading times on the computer at work or home.

"Being able to log their minutes online instead of having to come into the library made it a lot easier for them to track their progress," Reiten said.

While some bases logged progress by the amount of words, pages or books read, the Minot AFB Library chose to track progress by the amount of minutes read by individuals.

"Because books come in all different sizes, we wanted to keep it fair throughout all age groups," Reiten said. "The amount of books read isn't the goal; it's mainly about the time they dedicated to it."

The program let members read any book of their choice, even allowing Airmen to read their Career Development Course material as an option.

"The whole goal of the summer reading program is to improve literacy skills," Reiten said. "It doesn't matter what you read as long as you're taking the time to do it."

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