As you review the administrative tools your library uses to manage services and programming, consider leveraging online resources to maximize your efforts. In the following interview, fellow library worker Kate Guynn explains why Beanstack was the best fit for her library.
Question 1: What online tool are you promoting?
- Name: Beanstack
- Purpose: In March 2021, we signed a three-year contract to track all of our reading challenges.
- Price: $1,800 per year
Question 2: How did you find out about this tool?
We were drawn to Beanstack because of my prior experience with it when I worked at a different library, the price, the customer support, and the high scores on reviews. In comparison, neither ReadSquared nor ReadingZone had comparable ratings. In addition, because ReadingZone’s pricing is based on the number of readers, purchasing it would have quickly become very expensive.
Question 3: As a youth services library worker, how do you use this tool to support your community?
In May 2021, we launched Beanstack with our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge, and several caregivers who’d stopped participating returned to the program due to the ease of use—stating that paper tracking logs were too overwhelming and easy to lose.
Although we began using Beanstack with our early literacy programming, using it quickly spread when we added all of our summer reading challenges in June. In addition, we use Beanstack for patrons to submit book reviews and library activity as well. Furthermore, we had a Fall Reading Challenge and are currently in the middle of our 50th Birthday Reading Challenge. Finally, in the future, our teen librarian is considering a 100 Books Before College Challenge.
Kate Guynn is the Children’s Services Senior Librarian at Helen Hall Library in League City, Texas. As Helen Hall has just received a TSLAC Grant for Family Place Libraries, Kate is excited to transform the children’s spaces into a place for little minds to grow.
This is part of a series written for the CSLP slogan “Oceans of Possibilities.” For the associated programming resources, graphics, and book lists, peruse the 2022 program manual on the CSLP website.