This year, more than ever, Summer Learning brought a sense of connection and normalcy to our community. As one patron told us,
"Thank you for keeping this tradition alive during such a crazy time! I have participated in the summer reading program since I was a child and it was a breath of fresh air to have this summer tradition available! It means more than you know!!!"
Preparations for Summer Learning 2020 began in earnest last fall and by the end of February, planning was complete, performers were booked and our staff was getting excited about the summer. The pandemic changed the landscape of 2020, but our staff would not let it come in the way of Summer Learning! With the support of generous donors, the Library was able to quickly invest in additional resources and pivot to a virtual platform, ensuring this important program was available when our community needed it most.
Kitsap Regional Library donors make so much possible each year, including free and equal access to programs like Summer Learning, that empower our community to thrive, even in the most difficult times. Thank you to all who made sure Summer Learning was available to our community this year!
To promote community engagement and support the virtual tracking of reading the Library invested in an application called Beanstack. Bear, Otter and Goat followed registered readers' progress and handed out badges as goals were met. Each goal met earned opportunities to win prizes and motivated our community to read and learn together!
Throughout the summer, 3,744 people accepted the Library's reading challenge by completing at least 10 hours of reading and 2,178 accepted the 100-hour reading challenge. Our community logged 203,931 hours of reading on Beanstack and they also reviewed 329 books using this new application. It might not surprise you to hear that our community's Harry Potter books were the most logged titles.
It truly was a team effort to successfully transition Summer Learning to a virtual platform this year and was so appreciated by Library patrons.
"You did a great job working with the unexpected virus situation. It must have been challenging to find something like Beanstack and get it into place so quickly."
Informal and Interest Based Learning
Informal and interest-based learning is an integral part of Summer Learning and the Library's mission. We piloted a variety of new digital programs and services which included: a "Meet the Makers" series to connect teens with local and national artists, weekly "Lunch with a Librarian" focused on a variety of topics, and the Anti-Racism Circle, a safe learning and conversation place to help Kitsap process the impacts of racism together. In addition, a variety of music and dance events were held.
It was so exciting to see that even though we were unable to hold events in person, the Gansango African Music & Dance event was our most widely attended Summer Learning event ever!
Once challenges were met it was time for prize pick-up! 1,400 people attended curbside events that occurred at each of our locations. These were kept fun and safe through careful planning and coordination by branch staff.
"Our family really appreciated KRL's continuation of the Summer Reading program during this challenging time. It was super fun to drive in and connect with our librarians at the end of the challenge. The decorations and bubble machine at the Bainbridge branch made the moment more festive too! Thank you again for always making the summer reading challenge a special time!"