Results from our first virtual summer reading program:

5,100 challenges completed; 2,000 books read, in 285,000 minutes.

975 readers, 11,000 prize beads earned … and counting!

Six weeks into Oak Park’s new virtual summer reading program, kids are blowing us away with their enthusiasm and determination. 

Adults know that kids who read at least 20 minutes a day during the summer lose fewer skills before school starts up again. Kids know that reading can be fun, and that’s what’s important to them. That’s what will make them lifelong readers and learners.

Also fun? Delivering all those prize beads to reward our readers! Oak Park Public Library staff have already delivered more than 11,000 beads, and we plan to deliver 5,000 more in July. Prize delivery will continue through the summer, and you can still sign up for the program online through Aug. 31. 

Need reading ideas? 

Of the top 12 books logged by Oak Park participants this summer, the first and last Harry Potter books make a strong showing. Who doesn’t want to find themselves in a magical world, helping to save the day?

Gorgeous graphic novel and Newbery Honor winner Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson also has risen to the top, encouraging kids to find out who they are and to navigate the pressures of friendship and growing up — while being on a roller derby team. 

You can find more recommended books for babies through rising ninth-graders at


Ways to use your library this summer

Imagine Your Story runs through Aug. 31. Participating families track their reading and activities with an easy-to-use, cloud-based platform called Beanstack, accessible from anywhere through an app and web browser.

Kids age 3 through rising ninth-graders are encouraged to read, be read to, or listen to audiobooks for 20 minutes a day to help us reach our community goal of 450,000 minutes read, as well as participate in activities around their home and community. Sign up at

On July 22, the Main Library only will reopen for self-service, including selecting and checking out materials, with limited hours and capacity, social distancing, and face coverings required. Please note that no program signups or prize pickups will happen in person.

If you’re not ready to visit in person, you can keep using your digital library, which offers massive amounts of content you can safely check out with your library account. And you can continue to pick up your physical materials on hold at the Main Library, contact-free. Get all the details at

are children’s librarians at the Oak Park Public Library.

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