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This year’s West Virginia Book Festival was virtual, but it was still a success, according to Stan Howell, marketing and development manager for Kanawha County Public Library.

In the monthly library board meeting Monday evening, Howell said that despite shifting from the originally planned live event to a virtual festival, the library saw nearly as many people for workshops and author lectures.

“It went very well for us,” he said. “At our workshops, we had 195 people. Our best attended workshop brought in 48 people. Our lowest had 18.”

Howell said attendance wasn’t too different from what the book festival usually saw.

“We had 1,100 people see six authors,” he said. “That wasn’t far off from usual. In lieu of the festival not happening at all, it went very well.”

Howell credited partnerships with Motion Masters and American Technology Rental for helping make the virtual festival go smoothly. He also described the festival as being a learning experience and something they could repeat, if they needed to.

The library hoped they wouldn’t need to.

“We’re hoping and planning for an in-person festival for next October,” he said.

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