Beanstack a “fitbit” for readers

Fort Madison Library implements new reading tracker in April

BY SARAH CLENDINENG
Fort Madison Public Library Director

FORT MADISON – We have a new way to find out what’s going on at the library.  Our calendar of events has gotten a face-lift and now includes the ability to see programs for specific age groups and types.  You can also add events to your Google or iCalendar with the click of a button.  Find the calendar at FortMadison.LibraryCalendar.com or click on the link in the upper right hand corner of the library’s webpage, FortMadisonLibrary.org.
While these features are nice, the part of this new calendar we are really excited about is the ability for everyone to view room availability and reserve resources for themselves.  When visiting the library calendar you can click on “Reserve a Room” and then pick either the day you want to meet at the library or the room you would like to use.  Reserving a room only requires a few bits of information, including your name and phone number.  When you make a reservation, only the title that you give the reservation will show on the public calendar.  All other personal information will be hidden and only be visible to library employees.  If you want to use the Sheaffer meeting room, you can make a temporary reservation for events during the week.  Once the temporary reservation is made, you will still need to come into the library within one week to fill out the room use form and leave a deposit.  Saturday and Sunday reservations will still need to be made through library employees.

New Reading Challenges Coming to the Library
The Fort Madison Public Library is adding Beanstack,a new tool for readers.  Beanstack, which has been called a “Fitbit for Reading”, allows readers to record the number of minutes, pages or books they read to earn digital badges and, in some cases, prizes.  This product will help the library cultivate a community of reading and move forward with new reading programs.
Beanstack will be available for registration beginning April 26 and will have an initial challenge, Growing Readers that will begin on April 29. Participants who read 600 minutes by May 31 will receive a packet of zinnia seeds.  If you want to take part in this community reading challenge, you can pick up a paper reading log at the library, register online or use the Beanstack app.  Tracking reading and other activities this summer will also be done using Beanstack.  However, participants will still be able to use paper logs to track their reading and claim prizes.
A library card is not required to use Beanstack, though cards are free to residents of Iowa and can be purchased by those living in nearby states for $35.  The Beanstack Reading Tracker app is a free download through the App Store or Google Play.  Beanstack can also be accessed online at https://fortmadison.beanstack.org.  Registration is easy and only requires a few bits of information.  A tutorial and handout can be found at the library’s webpage by following the link for Beanstack.
Contact Sarah Clendineng, 372-5721 or sarahclen@fortmadison.lib.ia.us for more information.
Top 10 Most Checked Out Books at the Library

  1. Trolls 5-minute stories (EF TRO)
  2. The silent patient by Alex Michaelides (F MIC)
  3. What happens in paradise: a novel by Elin Hilderbrand (F HIL)
  4. Met her match by Jude Deveraux (F DEV)
  5. Twisted twenty-six by Janet Evanovich (MYS EVA)
  6. Criss Cross by James Patterson (MYS PAT)
  7. Where’s the unicorn now: a magical search-and-find book by Sophie Schrey (E F MOR)
  8. A time for mercy by John Grisham (F GRI)
  9. The Oysterville Sewing Circle: a novel by Susan Wiggs (F WIG)
  10. How to catch a unicorn by Adam Wallace (E F WAL)

Upcoming Events at the Fort Madison Public Library –
For the safety of library employees and other patrons, please do not come to library programs if you feel ill, have a fever or are waiting on the results of a coronavirus test.  The library is still offering curbside book pick-up if you need something to read, watch or listen to but want to keep your community healthy by temporarily quarantining.
Pre-School/Toddler Story Hour –Wednesday morning at 10:30.
Hang Teen – Tuesday, 3:30-5:00 (except for May 17) for ages 12-19.
Minecraft –3:30-5:00, ages 9-18 on Mondays. 
Once Upon a Wednesday –Join us from 1:30-2:30 for a variety of adventures.  May 4 will be movie day.  On May 11, you can make your own snack.  May 18 is craft day.  May 25 is Family Fun day with a variety of activities, including board games.
All Booked Up! – The library’s book discussion group meets on the first Thursday of the month at 1:30 p.m.  On Thursday, May 5, we will be discussing “The Museum of Extraordinary Things” by Alice Hoffman.  On Thursday, June 2, we will be discussing “The Personal Librarian” by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray.
Cook the Book –This month’s cookbook is “Copycat Restaurant Favorites” from Taste of Home.  Pick a recipe and prepare it to share with the group on May 10 at 6:00 pm.

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