Ahh … ours! A time for a new beginning, longer days, warm sunshine and America’s favorite pastime, reading. OK, technically, baseball is considered America’s favorite pastime, but here at the Whitman County Library we say, “Let’s celebrate spring with both.”
Just as Major League Baseball players are warming up for summer ball at this spring’s training, the library encourages patrons to sign up for our new online Spring Into Reading Challenge that will warm up their reading skills so they can “swing the fences” during summer reading.
The Spring in Reading challenge began on Thursday and runs until June 13. It’s open to all ages, and you can register your entire team – oops, I mean family – in one account using our new online tracking platform, Beanstack. Thanks to grants from Schools Out Washington, you can access Beanstack at whitco.lib.wa.us/beanstack or download the easy-to-use mobile app for Apple or Android devices.
Once participants are registered in Beanstack, they can log books they have read or listened to (audio books and being read to someone else both count), complete fun activities at home, write book reviews, and earn digital incentives in the form of badges. You can have a home run this spring by reading two books and completing fun activities at home.
One way to earn a mark is to read outdoors. Stop by your local Whitman County Library branch or use our service to check out a book and a Discover Pass for free access to Washington State Parks and Recreation Areas. Use the maps, guidebooks for birds, trees and wildflowers you find in our area, and the binoculars that come with your passport to have a fun family adventure. Continue your family exploration outdoors with your bird backpack, fishing backpack (including fishing rods) and hiking backpack. Do not forget to relax in the sun after a day of adventure with a good book to earn your mark.
Can’t relax with a book yet because you still need to plant your garden? Visit our seed library. You can browse the seeds we have in our collection, take the ones you want, plant your garden, harvest your crop, and then return some of your harvested seeds to the seed library so others can use the next growing season. The Seed Library welcomes and shares a number of seeds that are organically certified, open pollinated or heirlooms. This ensures that our library does its best to provide high quality seeds that can produce a plant that is true to its range.
The Colfax Seed Library is available during library opening hours, or you can stop at the Albion Library’s handicap entrance to access the Seed Library 24/7. Perform a double play by downloading an audiobook from the Washington Anytime Library using the free Libby app to listen while you work in the garden.
The reading season does not end after the Spring Into Reading challenge is over. Accounts created in Beanstack remain active throughout the year, so participants can continue to enjoy a range of ongoing and seasonal reading challenges. The next battle for bats will be the 2021 reading theme Tails and Tales to encourage children, teens and adults to continue the reading adventure and complete more fun activities while earning badges and exciting prizes. The opening day will be June 14, and the series runs through August. 31.
Throughout the spring and summer, the 14 sites at the Whitman County Library will keep the bases loaded by continuing to provide hands-on learning with our grab-n-go sets, virtual programming and more. Check out the event calendar on our website for a complete schedule for the spring and summer programs, whitco.lib.wa.us, and enjoy America’s favorite pastime – in our opinion, at least – reading.
Kopp is a teen and innovation librarian at the Whitman County Library