Library Buzz for June 3 Edition

What are you doing this summer?

Let’s face it, Summer 2020 is not going to be normal. Events are canceled, many activities are off-limits, and wearing a mask intensifies the heat and humidity.

Fortunately, a new twist on a traditional annual event has just begun: the Botetourt County Libraries Summer Reading Challenge like you’ve never experienced it before!

The biggest change is that the Challenge has moved to a digital platform/app called Beanstack. Install the app on your smartphone or access your account online at It’s a fun, easy way to keep track of your reading, earn digital badges, get personalized reading recommendations, and more. Signing up is easy. In fact, you can sign up the whole family under one account to make it easy to manage! You can sign up your daycare, class or camp kids as a group. You can even share a child’s account with other people, such as a spouse, ex-spouse or grandparent.

Feeling unsure about the signup process? Ask a librarian to sign up for you; they’ll ask for an email address (or can help you create one). Prefer tracking your reading and activities on paper? Find a link to print out paper logs on our website,

The theme is “Imagine Your Story.” While the main focus is still encouraging everyone to read, we’re taking it a step farther to encourage a variety of learning activities. Earn badges, tickets and prizes by exercising on a Story Walk, going for a hike or “looking for treasure” while geocaching. Try to escape the “Upside Down” in the Stranger Things themed Digital Escape Room. Discover thousands of online craft videos, paint a rock or – predictably – read or listen to a book!

Since we will not have special performers this year due to concerns about large group gatherings, that means we can offer more exciting prizes instead! Some prizes will be automatically awarded when you achieve specific milestones, while other prizes are available in drawings. Get as many tickets as you can to enter in raffles for a bike, kayak, VR headset or many other prizes.

The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to continue reading and learning during the summer months so they don’t start out the next school year having fallen behind. But don’t think it’s just for kids; SRC is for all ages, from 0-150. Join in the fun by signing up at Read details and FAQs on our websites, or simply call us at 540-928-2900.

When the library opens curbside pickup services in later June, be sure to ask for a make-and-take craft kit to enjoy as a family. We also invite you to join us for a Virtual S’mores Event on Saturday, June 20, at 7 p.m. Make some s’mores quarantine-style – in the microwave, over a fire pit, in the oven or on the grill – and show them off with your neighbors on Zoom. Find the link to the event on our website.

Don’t wait – join the fun today!

-Julie Phillips, Botetourt County Libraries

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