In April 2020, the Division for Libraries and Technology began supporting public libraries and library users by launching a statewide online reading challenge platform and mobile app, Beanstack, to support summer library programming and future reading initiatives through 2023. The success of Beanstack and the excitement it is generating throughout the state inspired another initiative to support young readers in Wisconsin, Beanstack for school libraries! The Division has awarded a discretionary grant for nearly $277,000 to the Wisconsin Valley Library Service to contract with Beanstack on behalf of Wisconsin public school libraries. This 21-month statewide procurement will save over $114,000 when compared to individual districts procuring this service at the local level.
Bringing Beanstack to school libraries will allow library media specialists to elevate the important role they play in creating library programs supporting and improving literacy. Beanstack encourages more independent and choice reading, motivating students to read more, by allowing them to earn badges, see stats, compete on a leaderboard, find book suggestions, and even see what their friends are reading. And it allows school library media specialists the opportunity to observe the data and trends of their readers. With Wisconsin public libraries also using Beanstack, there will soon be options for students to link their accounts, which means great opportunities for school and public librarians to connect and collaborate.
The Division for Libraries and Technology is committed to providing equitable opportunities for all students to access high-quality resources allowing them to find joy in reading, as this is an important part of becoming a lifelong learner. This support of our school libraries will increase literacy and create stronger community connections between our schools and public libraries.
The investment in Beanstack was made possible through the Library Services and Technology Act grants provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
See more posts on the WI Libraries for Everyone page.