It’s that time of year, and our Summer Reading Program is in full swing! Once again, this year we’re using the super fun software from Beanstack to track reading and activity badges. And whether you’ve been doing reading challenges with us on Beanstack for a few years, or whether this is your first rodeo with online tracking, we have some tips and tricks we’re excited to share with you for the free and easy Beanstack mobile app!
First, to download the app, simply search Beanstack Tracker in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
Type in Provo City Library, and then sign in just like you would on the Beanstack website.
If you haven’t already, you can also set up your account right on your phone. From that point you can click on the Account gear icon on the right of your bottom screen menu, and then on Readers.
If your account was created previously on the website, all of your readers should show up here (don’t forget to add some cute profile pics!).
If you’re just setting up your account, start adding readers from this screen by tapping Add a Reader. Once your readers are all entered, it’s time to head back to the home screen to register for a reading challenge!
REGISTERING FOR READING CHALLENGES
Choose the reader you want to register for a challenge. You can change readers by tapping the profile pic (or circle with reader’s initials) at the top right on your home screen.
You can then search for that reader’s available reading challenges by tapping the Discover compass icon at the bottom of your screen. If your reader has not registered for any challenges, you’ll have the option to see any available challenges.
If your reader was previously registered on the website, you’ll see a list of their current and past registrations, any available new challenges, as well as their logging status.
Tap on Register to get started in a new challenge!
Logging is where the Beanstack mobile app shines! On the website you have two options when logging – you can log for a single reader, or you can log for all readers on your account. However, on the mobile app, you can log for a single reader, all readers on your account, or any combination of readers, AND you can also log reading in multiple, concurrently-running programs like Summer Reading and 1000 Books Before Kindergarten! But first things first… To log reading in the mobile app, tap the giant plus icon on your bottom menu and tap Reading. You’ll then be prompted to choose which readers you’re logging for. If you’ve done a family read aloud, choose them all!
Next comes the logging method, another place where the app excels.
You can type in a title or ISBN, select a recently logged title if it’s a repeat read or a continuing read, or simply log minutes without a book title attached. However, the easiest, quickest, and most fun option is the Scan ISBN feature. Just tap it, flip that book over, and hover the red line over the book’s barcode – that book is in!
You can choose whether or not to Track Progress by tapping the toggle, which would end up looking like this:
Then you have a few choices:
Start a Reading Session starts a timer right within the app.
When you stop the timer, the minutes will automatically be logged for the readers you chose previously. Slick! Be sure to say yes if you finished the book to log it as completed!
Log Past Reading gives you the opportunity to log reading for any previous days or if you choose not to use the app timer. Simply enter the date if you’d like, the number of minutes read (required), the number of pages (optional), and whether or not the book is finished. Bam – logged!
Quick Log as Complete will quickly log a book read. However, all but one of our reading challenges tracks minutes, so the only program this would be currently useful for is 1000 Books Before Kindergarten.
Logging Activities is easy peasy – tap the giant plus icon on your bottom menu and click Activity. Choose your readers, and tap on the appropriate category! Or to see available activities, tap the Discover compass icon on the bottom menu and click on the Activities tab at the top.
A NOTE FOR PARENTS OF 1000 BOOKS KIDDOS
Logging 1000 books sounds pretty daunting. However, chances are you’re reading many of the same books over and over. My top tips for you:
- Use the scan ISBN feature when logging a book. It’s super quick and easy to scan the stack of picture books when you’re done reading together.
- When re-reading a book you’ve already logged – IF YOU’RE NOT WORRIED ABOUT TRACKING MINUTES FOR A SEASONAL READING CHALLENGE– tap Log in your bottom menu. Scroll until you find the book, then swipe left on the title and click the green Quick Log As Complete. It will complete it a second, third…or seventeenth…time.
IF YOU’RE REGISTERED FOR 1000 BOOKS AND A SEASONAL READING CHALLENGE
All of our seasonal reading challenges (Summer Reading, Winter Reading, Spring Reading, etc.) track MINUTES for completion. However, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten tracks BOOKS. If you have a child registered for BOTH of these programs, the mobile app is your magic wand. It is the only way to log one time and have it applied to BOTH PROGRAMS. The Beanstack website does not have the functionality for this. Just make sure that when you’re logging reading for a child enrolled in 1000 Books that you log minutes, as well as the title of the picture book, and mark the book as complete. If logged this way in the mobile app, the reading will automatically be applied to both programs!
All in all, the Beanstack mobile app is an incredibly convenient and powerful tool for logging your family’s reading, particularly if you’re reading aloud to multiple kids, doing a family read aloud, or logging for concurrent programs. So be sure to take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with it. If you have questions or need help, we’re here for you – give us a call or come to one of our reference desks. And as always, Happy Reading!