Five Reasons Why Winter Is the Next Summer

Presented by: Zoobean, Library Journal School Library Journal
Event Date: Thursday, October 17, 2019 

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“Read More Books” is the fifth most popular New Year’s resolution for people of all ages. Meanwhile, data pulled from the Beanstack software and mobile app confirms that the month of January is the second best month of the year to run a reading challenge. This webcast will share 5 best practices for employing a winter reading challenge to increase circulation and grow a culture of reading. 

During 2018 and 2019, Suffolk Public Library repeated as "Winter Reading Champs" during the annual Beanstack National Winter Reading Challenge. This included receiving special recognition from Shark Tank celebrity Mark Cuban and $3,000 from anonymous Suffolk residents to be used towards purchasing books. The library's community will be going for a "three-peat" with this year's reading challenge sponsored by publisher Penguin Random House. Meanwhile, it's core winter reading team intends to share the secrets of its success.

Maryland Library of the Blind and Physically Handicapped was a first time winner this year serving a population of primarily adults all over the state. They attribute their success to their audience needing a purpose while being willing to do the work to read.

This webcast will be designed for schools looking to grow their culture of reading and toward public libraries looking to engage patrons year-round. We will highlight key features of Beanstack and a new free product for schools called Beanbright while also giving helpful tips for using paper reading logs or other reading challenge platforms. Winter is an ideal time during which there may be great potential to increase readership. And the reading challenge structure is effective for telling a story that inspires students and patrons.


April Watkins, Early Childhood Senior Librarian, Suffolk Public Library

Sarah M. Townsend, Assistant Director of Libraries, Suffolk Public Library

LaShawn Myles, Youth Services Librarian, Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Rebekah Garrety, Librarian-in-Residence, Zoobean, Inc.


Felix Brandon Lloyd, Co-Founder & CEO, Zoobean, Inc.

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