Bowlby Library hosts puzzle competition

The Yellow Jacket- Rachel Pellegrino
Courtesy of WCTV, Rachel Pellegrino

Think you can complete a 500 piece puzzle in under three hours? Well, Greene County residents Amanda Edwards and Julia Broskey just proved that they can do it in an hour and 22 minutes.

The feat was achieved by the pair at Eva K. Bowlby Library’s monthly puzzle competition held on Saturday, Feb. 12. 

For this month’s competition, Edwards and Broskey were followed by Andy and Debbie Heisey as well as Renee Simpson and Sheri Fielder who completed this month’s puzzle in an hour and 25 minutes and an hour and 27 minutes respectively. 

“A lot of people love to do puzzles so we thought we’d encourage those who are really good at puzzling and those that just enjoy putting a photo puzzle together just to come out and compete against others or just to bring their friends to compete against themselves,” said Kathy Douglas, Bowlby Library Public Relations.

The puzzle mania began in February 2020, but it was discontinued for a few months during the pandemic. Once the library reopened, they began offering the competition once again. 

Every month, ten teams of two race to see who can put together a 500 piece puzzle the fastest. All competitors have 3 hours to complete the puzzle, but whoever completes it the fastest, gets a prize. 

Since most of the competitors are returners, the competition can get intense. 

“There are a couple teams that get together at each other’s houses just to practice. So they take this very seriously,” Douglas said. 

Despite the competitors racing to win, Douglas said the event fosters community. 

“We encourage talking, we encourage people to bring their friends, you know, compete against each other for this,” Douglas said. “It’s just a sense of community and also a reason to come to the library and see that we are more than just sitting at tables and reading books. We try to be a community oriented center for people.”

Sarah Courtwright and Rebekah Arrison, two of the competitors, said they’ve participated in the competition twice. Even though they don’t have a lot of experience with puzzle competitions, they thought it would be something fun to do together.

“It’s been a good bonding experience. We really lean on one another during these hard times,” Courtwright said.

In addition to the monthly puzzle competitions, Bowlby Library will host several other events. 

Upcoming events include: Cosmic Bingo, Adult Craft Night, Chilli Cook Off and Poetry Competition.

Even if there isn’t an event being hosted, Douglas encourages everyone to stop by Bowlby Library.

“People can come in and just grab a cup of coffee. They can peruse the shelves or also sit down and do puzzles while they’re here,” Douglas said.