What is Beanstack?
Beanstack is a free service provided by your local library to help families discover books based on the reader’s age and interests. All books recommended are available for free at your library.
With a Beanstack profile, you’ll receive one recommendation per week of a book matched to your or your child’s age, interests, and background. We include easy-to-use learning tips and activities for each book selected.
If you have a library card, you also gain access to our full database of specifically selected books. You may also view our themes for the younger readers, which are learning guides that include tips and activities on subjects ranging from “Exploring Egypt” to “Say No to Bullying!”
Who can sign up for Beanstack?
Anyone is welcome to sign up for Beanstack and receive weekly book recommendations and tips.
Here’s how to get started using Beanstack:
- Join today at Valley Falls Library Beanstack.
- Look for your age group and click register.
- Enter the required information and you’ll be all set with your account.
(Note, a library card is not required to sign up for Beanstack)
- Log your books, and have fun!
What makes Beanstack different?
Beanstack only includes books that have been selected by your local librarians. Recommendations are then made based on each individual.
Do I need a library card to sign up?
No. You just need to be a resident of the community served by this library.
What is included when I sign up for Beanstack?
With a Beanstack profile, you’ll receive one recommendation per week of a book matched to your age, interests, and background. We include easy-to-use learning tips and activities for each book selected.
Setting Up a Profile
What if I want to change the preferences listed for my child’s reading level and interests?
You may change your preferences at any time. The book selected will match whatever you have set at the time of your next recommendation.
Can I sign up for more than one child?
Yes. You can set up as many profiles as you like.
How do I cancel my free account?
You can cancel your Beanstack account at any time. Just go to one of your individual profile pages and click on “Edit Profile” then “Cancel Your Profile.” If you change your mind, you can always reactivate your account.
Are all of the books recommended available at my local library?
Yes. Books recommended are included in your library’s collection and may be checked out for free. If the book is currently checked out by another patron, you can put it on hold to check out in the future.
Do you recommend eBooks?
Yes. We base recommendations on your reader’s age and interests along with what the library has available in its collection. When you click “Get This Book” you’ll be able to see all of the different formats available at your local library, including eBook versions.
What if I already own the book I selected for my child?
You can just ignore that week’s recommendation, though the learning tip may still be useful. Adding books that your child has already read to the “Completed Items” list in his or her profile will also help. Any books marked as “Completed Items” will not be recommended.
Learning Tips and Guides
How do learning tips work?
Most of the recommendations that are personalized to your child’s age and interests will include a learning tip. These learning tips are provided in a single paragraph, which often encourages Every Child Ready to Read practices. They are linked to the specific book recommended but may be helpful in general.
If a book also has a learning guide, what additional information is included?
Some books included on Beanstack have longer learning guides that you can access through your child’s profile. These guides provide tips and activities for building literacy with your loved one. They include everything from STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) connections to arts and crafts projects. All guides are digital and optimized for viewing on mobile devices.
What is a themed learning guide?
Each themed learning guide is created by an individual curator on a topic about which they are passionate. Themed learning guides include book and app recommendations along with background information, discussion starters, activities, suggested family experiences, and additional resources.
Saved & Completed Items
How should I use the Saved and Completed Items feature of my child’s profile?
Saved Items and Completed Items are separate sections of your child’s profile where you can add books and apps that we recommend or that you discover through the Beanstack database. This way, you can more easily track the books and apps in which your family is most interested. You can also mark the books and apps that your child has completed to keep a record of his or her progress.
So, if I mark an item as “Saved” or “Completed,” will you recommend it to me?
No. The list is there primarily for your benefit to separate out the books and apps that your family likes most.
How can I use Beanstack to collaborate with teachers and family?
You can share access to your child’s Beanstack profile with family members and teachers so that they can see your list of selected books, apps, and learning guides. This can be useful for keeping them up-to-date on what your child or loved one is reading.
How do I share my child’s profile with others?
Through your child’s profile, just click “Share.” You can then add the email address of the person(s) you want to invite. You’ll be able to see when they have accepted your invite and can also revoke their access at anytime.
I have a share code. How do I use it?
Just go to the sign up page for a free account and enter your share code. From there, you can access the child’s profile to update preferences and access learning guides.
The Beanstack Database
What kind of apps and books do you curate?
We ask our experts to only select apps and books that they would want for their own child, student, or loved one. After that, we catalog each entry, using over 2,000 common-sense tags ranging from “Adventure” to “Zany.”
How do you choose which books and apps to curate?
We have a team of librarians and experts across the country catalog books and apps that they have found really useful for the families they serve. From there, your local librarians curate additional books and apps and decide which of these to include in the database and recommendations provided to your specific community.