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FAQs -- 2020 Children's Summer Reading Challenge

All your questions answered about DPL's Children's Summer Reading Challenge!

With the library building closed, how will Summer Reading work?

The building may be temporarily closed, but our Decatur Public Library staff have been working hard to make sure everyone can still participate in the Summer Reading Program.

You can register and log your reading online from anywhere! There will still be rewards and prizes for all age groups. As always, kids can set their weekly reading goal and earn rewards.

The main difference this year is that YOU can check in online!

Who can participate?

Anyone! From babies and toddlers who listen to board books, to kids, teens, and adults. Whether you read print or e-books, or listen to audiobooks online or in the car, you can join in. You don't have to have a Decatur Public Library card to sign up. Check the Children's Challenge info here, and the Young Adult/Adult Challenges info here.

How do I track my reading for the Summer Reading Program?

We have an app for that! Decatur Public Library is excited to introduce our patrons to Beanstack. It's your one stop for summer reading tracking. You'll be able to log and track your reading from your computer, tablet or phone.

Sign up and get started here!

Will there still be rewards for Summer Reading Program?

Absolutely! Kids will earn rewards for completing their weekly reading goals, thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Decatur Public Library and our community sponsors. And those completing at least Goal 3 will earn a ticket for the drawing for one of 70 Summer Reading T-shirts we're giving away. (Young Adult and Adult participants will get prizes for weekly check-in, and be entered in the grand prize drawings.)

How do I get my rewards?

We will hold on to your rewards until the library reopens to the public and you can come in to pick them up. The Young Adult and Adult Grand prize drawings will occur after August 16th. Winners will be posted on the website and contacted directly.

How do I get books for Summer Reading?

We are presently offering curbside pick-up of DPL items ordered, but you can also read any materials from home, AND we have a large selection of kids' e-books and audiobooks available online. Check our page of online kids' materials from Hoopla and Library on the Go, and also check out the animated picture books from Tumblebooks, which is free to all through August 31.

If you need online book suggestions for your kids, check our pages of recommendations for various ages and interests.

You will need your library card number and PIN to access most of our online services. If you don't recall your PIN or password (or have any other issue with your account), please email us at, or send us a message via the library's Facebook page, or call during regular business hours 217-424-2900. Provide us with:

  • your name
  • your library card number
  • the PIN you want
  • a phone number (in case we need to follow up)

What about Story Times and other library programs?

We will continue to offer our online Seven O'Clock Story Times, Monday-Friday at 7 p.m. on our Facebook page, and we are planning other online programming for various age groups. Watch for announcements on our website and Facebook page.

Can day cares and other groups participate?

For sure! Any group can sign up through Beanstack as a "family" under one account. Just add your participants as a parent would their own children. There is no practical limit to the number of participants under a single account. If possible, put the name of your agency or group in the "Last Name" field of the account, and the leader's name in the "First Name" field. If you have a personal account with Beanstack (for yourself or your own family), note that you'll need to use a different email and phone number for your agency account -- or you can add your agency participants to your personal account.

Other questions? Need help or more information? Email us at, message us via Facebook messenger, or call M-F 217-424-2900 during regular business hours. (If someone is not available to answer, press 8 to leave a message.)