Summer Reading Program at the Williamsburg Library!
The Summer Reading program at Williamsburg Regional Library begins on June 1 this year, and all ages can participate!
Things are all online this summer, use the links below to find out the specifics of each program, and have fun with reading.
How It Works
- Register first time users or login. You will need your library card to register.
- Choose a challenge to join. WRL will offer you options based on your age or grade.
- Keep track of your reading by logging your titles or the days you’ve read.
- Choose activities to complete for more fun and to win prizes.
Williamsburg Regional Library Summer Reading Program FAQs
Q. What is the Summer Reading Program?
A. The Williamsburg Regional Library (WRL), with the generous support of the Friends of WRL Foundation, the Herbert Friedman Library Fund, and other donors, offers the Summer Reading Program (SRP) for all ages who live in Williamsburg, James City, or York counties. The SRP offers families the chance to enjoy reading throughout the summer by encouraging family members to log their reading, receive book recommendations, complete fun virtual activities, take home crafts, and win prizes. This year’s theme is Imagine Your Story!
Q. What are the dates of the Summer Reading Program?
A. Registration and title sharing begins Monday, June 1. You may log your reading beginning on this day. You may register at any time during the program. The last day to share titles will be Sunday, August 9. The last day to log will be Monday, August 31. SRP weeks run from Monday through Sunday.
Q. Can Adults participate or is it just for kids and teens?
Adults can participate and there are great prizes! This year’s Adult Summer Reading has been divided into two sessions: one that runs June 1-July 15, and one that runs July 16-August 31. Participants must read and log four books and complete one additional challenge within the session window in order to win their choice of prize from among a selection of gift certificates, artisan goods, and more items from local businesses. Individuals can win one prize per session. “We have such a great line-up of prizes for our adult Summer Readers this year, most of which come from local businesses,” said Melissa Simpson, WRL’s adult services director. “We know how much they need the community’s support right now, and they know how much we need support right now as well, so it’s been a great opportunity for us to highlight and build each other up.”
Q. How do I sign up?
A. To register for the program, go online to wrl.beanstack.org or search for Beanstack Tracker in your app store. You may also register at a Mobile Library Services (MLS) stop, or by calling either building location at 757.259.4055/7733. You will need a library card to register (one card per family.) You will create a Beanstack account for your family that allows you to add profiles for your children and choose the appropriate age- level program for each child.
Q. I created a Beanstack account last year. Do I have to create a new one?
A. No, your account is still active. But please take a moment to review your information for accuracy the first time you log in. Select “Account” to review and update your information. You will still need to register each child for this year’s program. If you are unable to log in or do not remember your email and password, please email email@example.com for assistance.
Q. My child is in between ages/grades. How do I know which program to register him/her for?
A. When you add a child’s profile to your account, Beanstack will ask you what grade he/she is going into in the fall, and will offer the correct program based on that information. If you already had an account from previous years, please note that you may need to update your child’s information with his/her grade to be able to select the correct program.
Q. My kids are being offered different programs. What is the difference?
A. The SRP is divided into two programs based on your child’s grade level: the younger program for children from Birth-5th Grade, and the older program for children from 6th-12th Grade. You will automatically be offered the correct program for each child based on the grade level you have entered in his/her Beanstack profile. The difference between the two programs is that children from birth to 5th grade will earn a special gold library card, while tweens and teens from 6th – 12th grade will earn an Amazon gift card.
Q. How do I use the log?
A.We encourage families to read every day, so this year all participants will track reading by logging days in Beanstack. You may choose to log days only, without entering the book title, in either the desktop or the app, and those will count towards your goals. But in order to maintain a list of books read and to get better recommendations for new books to read, we suggest still including your titles for each day by scanning the ISBN in the app or by using the desktop application and clicking on “Log Reading”. If the correct book does not pop up, you may manually enter the title, author, and other information.
Q. What happened to the library visits? How can my child share their reading?
A. The summer reading program is built to promote consistent reading throughout the long weeks away from school and one of the most powerful ways we do that is through title sharing, when readers come to the library to talk about what they’ve been reading.
This summer we will host Zoom sessions each week so that readers can talk one-on-one and virtually face-to-face with a librarian about their reading. Participants may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with us instant messaging by going to the Kids’ Summer Reading page on the wrl.org website. Tentative Zoom hours are Monday – Friday, from 10 a.m. – Noon, and 2 – 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – Noon. You can also use the chat box on the summer reading page to talk with a librarian during those hours. Please check the Kids’ Summer Reading page or the web calendar on wrl.org for the most up-to-date schedule and log-in information.
Q. Is there an app for that?
A. Yes, the Beanstack Tracker app lets you log reading, join challenges, and write reviews – for the entire family. It is available for both Android and Apple devices; search your app store for “Beanstack Tracker” to download.
Q. How do I connect the app to my account?
A. If you already have a Beanstack account, simply download the app and search for the Williamsburg Regional Library. Log in with your current user name and password. If you do not yet have a Beanstack account, you can create one in the desktop application or in the app. Search for “Beanstack Tracker” to find the app in your app store.
Q. My kids will be with other family members for part of the summer. Can I have someone else log books for my kids?
A. Yes, you can share access to your child’s reader page with family members and teachers so that they can see your list of selected books and learning guides. To do so, go to your child’s homepage, select “Personalize” and then “Share this Reader.” You can then add the email address of the person(s) you want to invite. They will receive a share code to enter to be able to access your child’s reader profile. You’ll be able to see when that person has accepted your invite and can also revoke their access at any time. You both may now update and edit that reader’s profile as needed.
Q. I don’t want to use the online log. Can I still participate?
A. Absolutely. We will hand out paper logs at curbside pickup and MLS stops, or you may print a log from the library website. You may turn your log in at the end of summer to redeem any rewards. We will still create a Beanstack account for you so that we can find your registration information at either building, but you do not have to log on.
Q. Do my kids have to talk to someone about their books?
A. We LOVE to hear all about what you’ve been reading, and sharing books with others often brings children more enjoyment in the reading process and helps to encourage literacy skills. But if your child finds it overwhelming to speak to strangers, they certainly do not have to. They could also practice some of these skills by submitting reviews, either in writing or through pictures or short videos.
Q. Can I log books that I didn’t get from this library?
A. Yes – any book you read from anywhere counts, and not just books! One of the best ways to help children continue reading during the summer months is to encourage them to engage with a variety of reading materials. Magazines, comic books, graphic novels, audiobooks, poetry, and eBooks are all great alternatives to reading traditional books. Simply type the title into your log if it is not in the Beanstack database. (Note that the weekly book recommendations are based on our library collection.
Q. Can I count books my child listened to?
A. Yes. Audiobooks, books from storytimes, family reading time, books read by older siblings – it all counts. Older children can also count the books they read aloud to younger siblings.
Q. How do I sign up for – or turn off – the reading recommendation emails?
A. When you create an account with Beanstack and enter profiles for your children, you will be asked whether you would like to receive periodic emails from Beanstack. These emails include book recommendations based on your child’s age and any preferences you have indicated for him/her. Younger readers also receive learning tips for recommended books. The email may also include information about an upcoming event at the library or any other special announcements we have for that week. To opt out of these emails, select your child’s profile and choose “No Emails” setting. Note that if you do opt out of emails, you may no longer receive important notices, such as reminders for the Free Book Weeks or earning a gold card.
For more details about how to sign up for and complete the Summer Reading program at all age levels, head to www.wrl.org/summer-reading. For a complete list of virtual library programming, check out www.wrl.org/events.