Library’s summer reading program moves online

Due to service restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Heights Libraries has moved its 2020 summer reading program, Spark Your Creativity, online.

“We know how important summer reading is to our community, especially the school-age kids, so after we closed our buildings in March, we began looking for alternatives to our in-person program,” said Youth Services Manager Sam Lapides. “Luckily we found an online program called Beanstack that is easy to use, is fun, and allows kids to track their reading time and participate in prize raffles, just like they’ve always been able to in the past.”

Prizes include LEGO sets, headphones, and gift cards to local businesses.

To sign up, participants can go to Heights Libraries’ website,, or directly to the Beanstack portal,

Adults can also participate in Summer Reading 2020: Spark Your Creativity by signing up on the same Beanstack web page.

Any kind of reading counts, whether it be a bound book with pages, an eBook on a tablet, or an audiobook on a smartphone—anything is fair game as long as participating kids, and adults, are reading or listening to stories.

“We really felt like, this summer, it was especially important to find some way to keep our kids connected to us,” said Lapides. “Everyone is feeling isolated and disconnected, but especially the kids. After months of distance learning, and now with so few activities available for them this summer, we’re hoping that our summer reading program can give them back a bit of stability and keep their reading skills sharp.” 

Just in time for the launch of summer reading, in early June, Heights Libraries began allowing customers to put books and other items on hold for lobby pickup at all four branches: Coventry Village, Lee Road, Noble Neighborhood, and University Heights. Families have been taking full advantage, with holds shelves filled with picture books, chapter books, and teen literature.

“We’re still here for our kids and families,” said Lapides.

Sheryl Banks

Sheryl Banks is the communications manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 3:02 PM, 06.22.2020