The Dawson County Public Library has a new online summer reading program to encourage children to read over the summer, despite not being able to attend events in person at the library yet.
According to Stacey Leonhardt, branch manager at the Dawson County branch of the Chestatee Regional Library System, the new program is facilitated through an app called Beanstack, which keeps track of the progress, awards and prizes that local students can earn.
“You download the app and find our library, and then you can use it to log what books you’ve read,” Leonhardt said, “and then when you use the app to log your reading you can compete to win prizes.”
The app, which is available free to users in the iOS and Android app store, uses a barcode scanner to create a reading list and a reading session timer to keep track of how long participants have read for. Beanstack also offers individualized reading challenges and badges within the app for completing the challenges.
In addition to the virtual badges given by the app, the Dawson County Library is offering prizes for readers at the end of the summer.
“You have between now and July 31 to read and log books into the app, and then our database will choose winners to get prizes,” Leonhardt said. “The prizes are on display in the library, so kids can come look at them to see what they could win.”
Many people are already signed up for the online program, and the way the app is set up allows the library to see how many people are participating within the branch.
“We get constant statistics from the app,” Leonhardt said. “We were very fortunate to get this app as part of a state-funded program; libraries would usually have to pay to use the app, but the Georgia Public Library System allows us to run it for free.”
The library recently reopened for those wanting to check out physical books, and for those who prefer to read digitally, online ebooks are available via the library’s website.For more information on the library’s services or on the summer reading program, visit https://chestateelibrary.org/dawson-county-library-branch/.