3 Ways Wandoo Reader Can Support More Than Your Summer Reading Program

Jul 23, 2018 | Articles

Are you having a hard time convincing decision makers that an online reading program management tool is worth the investment? Fortunately, some management tools are flexible enough for you to use beyond just the summer months. Wandoo Reader is one of these flexible tools, and in this post we’ll show you three ways the software can support more than just your summer reading program.

1. Track 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Progress

The 1,000 Books Foundation has made great strides towards promoting nationwide literacy with its 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. Your library likely already promotes this initiative to its members, encouraging caregivers to read 1,000 books with their children before they reach kindergarten. You may even track progress towards this reading goal with stickers or a coloring sheet. Douglas County (CO) Libraries offers this paper tracking option, but they also leverage Wandoo Reader for online tracking of their 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.

Since Douglas County uses Wandoo Reader for both their summer reading program and their 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, they’re a great example of a library that’s getting the most value out of the tool’s flexibility. As with their summer reading program, the library leverages the Challenge feature in Wandoo Reader, which allows them to set up activities that promote literacy to get 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten participants excited about reading.

The library offers a small prize to readers for signing up, incorporates Challenges to motivate them to reach every 200 books read, and offers a grand prize when readers have read 1,000 books. Wandoo Reader automatically notifies caregivers that their children have a prize waiting for them at the library.

2. Enhance Your Patron’s Book Clubs

Your library may have already responded to the rising book club trend by creating some of the popular “book clubs in a bag,” kits that provide patrons with multiple copies of a book and discussion resources. But have you considered offering a library-coordinated book club that can be tracked in Wandoo Reader?

You could invite patrons who like hosting their own in-home discussions to track all of the books that their groups read in the software, or you could invite readers to participate in a virtual book club by submitting reviews of the books they read.

Wandoo Reader reporting also allows you stay in touch with your patrons by pulling email lists of reading group members. You can use this to alert them about available book club kits or to recommend books groups might want to add to their reading lists.

3. Engage Your Staff

According to research, employees who have access to professional development at work are 10% more likely to stay with their employer, and 40% of employees who perceive their work culture as positive are more likely to stay put. Keeping your staff engaged is just as important as keeping your patrons engaged, so why not try leveraging Wandoo Reader to meet these needs?

By setting up a staff-only program in Wandoo Reader, you’ll not only give staff an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the tool so they can promote it to patrons, but you can also promote collaboration between colleagues as well. Try the following Challenge ideas:

  • Include fun team-building exercises (e.g., find out the titles of three of your coworkers’ favorite books).
  • Invite staff to participate in training that will help their careers (e.g., watch one on-demand webcast and share three things you learned).
  • Try a Challenge that focuses on increasing circulation or driving awareness of your resources — which of your librarians will be able to get a patron to check out that new best-seller first? Who will be able to get a patron to take advantage of readers’ advisory services first?

4. Bonus Idea: Boost Community Engagement

Along with these year-round ideas, you can use Wandoo Reader to enhance your current reading program and meet your community engagement goals.

Encourage your patrons to get to know your community on a more personal level by adding fun Challenges to your existing reading programs. Have younger patrons get photos of themselves with a firefighter, or invite teens and adults to share photos of their favorite coffee shop or another favorite place to read around town. Work with these organizations or businesses to offer relevant prizes, like a junior firefighter sticker or a $5 gift card to the coffee shop. Not only will you be able to promote your community partners in individual Challenges, but your sponsors’ logos and links can be added to the Wandoo Reader login page as well, so people can learn more information about them.

The best part about these programming ideas is that Wandoo Reader makes them all simple to manage. In fact, after launching Wandoo Reader, Louisville Public Library’s Adult & Teen Services Manager, Deborah Long, was pleasantly surprised that her library could take on more than it ever had time to do before: “Without a more efficient way for staff to keep track of progress and accomplishments, we would never be able to extend the program!” she shared. Read more about why Wandoo Reader has Louisville excited about reading programs all year long in this case study.

Kayla Fargo

As Demco Software's Marketing Director, Kayla champions our efforts to educate public libraries on the need for a robust community engagement strategy. She works alongside our other teams to ensure that Demco Software's solutions effectively complement and amplify libraries' community engagement efforts.