Frequently Asked Questions: SummerBreak

Summer Break is Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s summer learning challenge. Summer Break combines the traditional recommended 20 minutes of reading per day with a variety of other learning activities. 

Like so many things, we’ve had to rethink and readjust our traditional Summer Break program during this year, but we’re excited to be reading and learning virtually with everyone.  After all, we’re all in this together, so let’s all read together! 

If you don’t see the answer to your question on these pages, please contact the library. Online chat is available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m-9 p.m.  Just click "Ask a Librarian" on the bottom of the cmlibrary.org website or submit a question

  • Read and learn for pleasure. 
  • Help us reach our community goal of reading 35 million minutes this summer. 
  • Challenge yourself to experience something new. 
  • Set a personal goal and feel the victory of accomplishing it. 
  • Exercise your brain daily to keep it active and healthy. 
  • Engage students in reading all summer to prevent summer learning loss. 
  • Help little ones explore the world of words around them. 
  • Give back in ways that enrich the lives of others. 
  • Be an inspiration — you are a model of learning! 
  • Belong to a community of readers.  
  • Enjoy the rewards of a summer well spent! 

Because of the effects on our community from COVID-19, the Library has made some unprecedented changes to Summer Break 2020. This year it has been split into two separate programs.  

During Summer Break: At Home June 1-June 30, you are challenged to stay at home and read 15 million minutes with the community while working towards virtual badges. You can participate by reading, writing, creating, playing, exploring and giving. You can track activities at home like reading books, playing a game, creating a drawing, taking a walk, or writing a card to a friend or family member! 

Starting July 1 through August 8, the Summer Break: Reading Takes You Everywhere challenge launches for you and the community to read another 20 million minutes, and you can also earn prizes and virtual badges!  

You can sign up for either one or both challenges, but we would love participation in both challenges to help meet our combined community reading goal of 35 million minutes! Last year our community read 31,481,672 million minutes, and we’d love your help reading even more this summer! 

Registration for Summer Break: At Home begins on June 1. You can create your account in Beanstack early, then register for the Summer Break: At Home challenge to start logging your reading and activities from June 1 through June 30, 2020.  

  • Even if you participated in Summer Break last year, you still need to create a new account.  
  • You can sign up on the Summer Break website : click on either "Register an Individual or Family” or “Register a Class or Group” then enter some basic information about yourself.  
    • You can also download and use the “Beanstack Tracker” mobile app. Search for “Charlotte Mecklenburg Library”.  
  • You can create either an individual account, a family account, or a group account  
  • You can only sign up for the Summer Break: At Home challenge once, but we encourage you to pre-register for the Summer Break: Reading Takes You Everywhere challenge beginning on June 15th that runs from July 1-August 8 to continue reading and logging activities all summer long. OR If you sign up for Summer Break: At Home, you will be automatically registered for Summer Break: Reading Takes You Everywhere. 
  • You can register or pre-register for the Summer Break: Reading Takes You Everywhere challenge in order to participate. Pre-registration begins June 15th. This is a separate challenge than June’s Summer Break: At Home challenge.  

    • Participants who already registered for Summer Break: At Home will be automatically registered for Summer Break: Reading Takes You Everywhere. 
  • There is no need to create a new account, simply select Summer Break: Reading Takes You Everywhere after selecting the “Challenges” in the right-hand menu.   
  • You will be able to start logging reading and activities for Summer Break: Reading Takes You Everywhere on July 1, 2020.  

An individual account means that you will record reading time and activities for yourself.  

A family account allows people within the same household to participate on one Summer Break account together.   

When you create an account for the Summer Break website, you have the option to add family members to that account. Once you do, you’ll be able to log reading time or activities for each family member. If you created the account, you are the Account Creator. If you did not create the account, you are a family member. Only Account Creators can log in to track reading and activities but can share their login information with family members if they want to.  

Visiting family members are encouraged to participate in Summer Break and can create their own individual or family account.  

Yes!  Group accounts are designed for people who want to participate together but are not part of the same household. Summer camps, daycares, senior centers, and other groups can sign up on their own or with staff assistance and then log their reading and activities together.   

  • You can sign up on the Summer Break website : click on either "Register an Individual or Family” or “Register a Class or Group” then enter some basic information about yourself.  

    • You can also download and use the “Beanstack Tracker” mobile app. Search for “Charlotte Mecklenburg Library”.  
  • If you need assistance with creating your group account, please contact sbgroups@cmlibrary.org for more information.  

Each individual or family account in the Summer Break website must have a unique email address so that you can reset your account password and receive email reminders. Library staff can help you set up an email address if you don’t already have one. The Library will not sell or share your email address, and uses email addresses and other personal information in accordance with the Library's Privacy Policy.  

Group Account Creators can have multiple groups under one Account Creator and email address. 

A library card number is not required to complete either the Summer Break: At Home or Summer Break: Reading Takes You Everywhere challenges.  

Click “Sign In” if you already have a Beanstack account.  You can select the "Recover password?" link. This link will send an email to the address on your account that will help you reset your password.  

 Click on the “Settings” or “gear” icon" in the upper right-hand corner of your Beanstack account page. Under the “Edit Account” dropdown you can edit the Account Creator’s email address, password, phone number and branch location.  

Select the reader you want to edit in the top left corner. Click “Edit Reader”. Here you have the option to personalize your reader. You can edit “Basic Information” under the link such as name, age, library card number, school, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools or ONE Access student ID number, grade and home library location. 

Once you are signed up, logged in, and have chosen the Summer Break: At Home or Summer Break: Reading Takes You Everywhere challenges, click the "Log reading and activities" orange button at the top of your dashboard. Choose who participated in the activity, then select whether you are logging minutes or activities and fill out the required information. 

You may read anything you like. We just want you to read! You can read to yourself, to someone else or have someone read to you. You can read books, magazines, newspapers, websites, email, comics, blogs or listen to recorded books. 

We all read at our own pace, so you can go as fast or as slow as you want. Aim for at least 20 minutes a day. The website will allow you to log reading in 10 hour increments, but of course, we want you to do something else with the other hours in your day, like sleep. 

Complete Summer Break during each challenge by reaching 600 points. These points can be obtained by: 

  • Logging at least 10 hours of reading time (600 points) 

OR 

  • Logging at least 5 hours of reading time (300 points) AND completing all 25 learning activities (300 points) 

 
Please note that you can only earn 300 points for doing learning activities, and we encourage you to read all summer long! 

  • Because of the effects of COVID-19 on our community and Library services, the Summer Break: At Home challenge will not offer physical incentives since it is an entirely virtual program.  
  • Instead, participants will have a chance to earn incentives during the Summer Break: Reading Takes You Everywhere challenge.  
    • In this challenge:  

      • Everyone who signs up will earn a Wendy's Jr. Frosty coupon 
      • When you complete (see the above FAQ question on “How do I finish the program”): 
        • Babies and children earn a new, popular book 
        • Teens earn either a new, popular book OR a doodle therapy notebook 
        • Adults earn a library tote  
      • All prizes are available while supplies last. 

As of July 1, 2020 prize distribution is not available due to current library operations and procedures.  The Library is in Phase 1 of our re-opening plan.  We plan to start Summer Break prize pick up during Phase 2.  Click here for the complete Library re-opening plan.

Participants cannot earn fine waivers for Summer Break 2020. 

Thank you for inquiring about the Library's partnership with Carowinds! While the Library hopes to continue our partnership in the future, Carowinds tickets are not offered as prizes for Summer Break 2020.