Are you up for the #BookBrainChallenge?

By Stefanie Donahue

Thanks to a recent campaign led by the Whatcom County Library System (WCLS), folks all the way from Bellingham to Blaine are donning books on their heads while dancing, singing, painting – you name it.


Blaine Library page April Sibley participated in the #BookBrainChallenge on September 12. For the challenge, she balanced a book on her head while training her two dogs. The Whatcom County Library System launched the campaign in conjunction with Library Card Sign-up Month. Photo by Stefanie Donahue.

The challenge corresponds with National Library Card Sign-up Month. To date, less than half of households in Whatcom County own a library card.

“Our #BookBrainChallenge offers an easy way for people to support the library, engage with their community, get more people signed up for library cards and have fun while doing it,” said Christine Perkins, library system executive director.

This week, Blaine Library staff member Cindy Lettel decided to get creative with the challenge. On Monday, she carefully placed “The Wonderful Book,” by Leonid Gore atop her head while Blaine police officer Jake Farrer mimicked booking her into jail.

Blaine Library page April Sibley chose to train her two corgis, Toffee and Chile, while balancing a Pembroke Welsh corgi training guide.

A quick search of #BookBrainChallenge or #WCLSlibraries populates dozens of videos and posts.

As Lettel puts it, “It’s just one example of the fun we have at the public library.”


Blaine Library staff member Cindy Lettel and police officer Jake Farrer participate in the Book Brain Challenge. Photo by Stefanie Donahue

To complete the challenge, participants are tasked with filming the book balancing act while stating the following:

“I’m doing the Book Brain Challenge for the Whatcom County Library System to get more people signed up for library cards! Here’s what I can do with a book on my head.”

Once the daring dance is complete, participants are encouraged to upload a video to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #BookBrainChallenge and #WCLSlibraries.

And don’t forget – to keep the campaign alive, participants are asked to challenge others in the community.

“We’re inviting everyone in the community – from business owners, to children, to local elected officials and beyond, to show their library support by participating in the #BookBrainChallenge,” Perkins said. “Ferndale mayor Jon Mutchler has already posted his video and challenged other Whatcom County mayors to do the same.”

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