To raise funds in hopes of going fineless for the summer, the Saline County Library will hold the Bookin' It 5K April 11 at Bryant Middle School.
"Bookin' It 5K is our idea of a fun way to do a trial period with no fines," said Marketing Manager Kari Beesley.
Registration for the 5K begins at 7 a.m. The run begins at 8 a.m.
Participants can run or walk their way through a story created by library staff. They will pass pages of the story as they go.
Beesley said the library staff had so much fun creating a story for its mystery night last year, so they decided to create one for the 5K.
By the time participants finishing running or walking, they will also have completed the story.
Beesley hopes to have the Humane Society of Saline County bring out its mobile adoption truck so people can also see animals available for adoption during the event.
According to Beesley, many libraries have begun to go fine free. While many think that without fines, people either won't return books or keep them long past their due dates. She said research has actually shown removing fines makes a person more likely to return an overdue book because they won't be punished or embarrassed.
"Going fine free during the summer is a way to test the waters," she said.
The 5K will help make up for the money that the library won't get from fines. She said while the library doesn't like giving fines, that money is used to purchase new or replace old materials.
The library is working to create its own medals in the Makerspace using the 3-D printer. She would also like to do trophies. Beesley said it has the added benefit of showing patrons what is available in the Makerspace.
The library plans to give out awards for each age group in the 5K, plus a different medal for the costume contest.
For the costume contest, participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite book characters.
There will also be a costume contest for any dogs in the event. Beesley said dogs who enter must be well behaved and owners must clean up after them.
While there will be timers at the event, it will not be an official timed event.
Beesley would like to have 200 to 250 participants in the 5K. The library serves 40,000 patrons in the community.
"I am hoping our community comes out and supports this," she said, adding it helps others in the community.
The library has a variety of sponsorships available for the 5K. There are large sponsorships and smaller sponsorships. There are several $100 and $200 sponsorships available.
Anyone interested in a sponsorship can email email@example.com or call 501-778-4766.
The cost to enter the 5K is $15 for ages 18 and up; $10 for ages 17 and under; and free for ages 5 and under. Virtual runners are $25. A T-shirt only is $10.
To register, participants can print off a form on the Facebook event page and turn it in at either library location or follow the link on the page.
Beesley said anyone wishing to help promote the event can get flyers or posters from her at the library. They need to contact her to get them.
"I am excited to host an event in the community and hope it can be something people look forward to every year," she said.