Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is it mandatory that all public libraries use Summer Reader online registration tool?
A. No. This is a voluntary program provided free of charge to each public library by the New York State Library as part of Summer Reading at New York Libraries.
Q. How long does the State library have a contract with Evanced for Summer Reader?
A. Our first contract with Evanced ran from 2010 through 2012. We are currently in the midst of a contract from 2013 through 2017.
Q. If our library signs up for the software (Summer Reader) does that mean we have to use it for all our summer reading programs (children, teen, adult)?
A. Once you sign up for your instance of Summer Reader, the New York State Library hopes you will try it out. Whatever works best for your library and community should dictate use of the software. You might choose to start this year just using it for a teen program, just to collect statistics, or for an in-house staff reading program. Whatever levels work for your library is fine.
Q. Can Summer Reader software be used for reading programs run by the library that are not summer reading programs?
A. Yes. The tool, Summer Reader is available for use by the public library year round for any reading programs.
Q. Will reviews, submitted by the children, be viewed statewide or only locally?
A. Each library will set up their own requirements for book reviews. If the library allows reviews to be viewed, the reviews can only be seen by registrants from that library that are part of that reading program. For instance, someone registered for a teen summer reading program can only see reviews form others in the teen program.
As part of the agreeing with the New York State Education Department, the vendor must keep all data collected. All data collected must be kept secure and confidential and remains the property of the New York State Library for use by local public libraries, public library systems, and the New York State Library.
Each library is strongly urged to help protect collected information by asking for only that information that is needed and by changing all security passwords as soon as Summer Reader is set up for the library.
Q. Is Summer Reader fully accessible for those unable to read regular screen print?
A. Evanced Solutions’ Summer Reader product is compatible with most screen reader devices. Screen and text enlarging is fully supported and the default layout is consistent and simple. Color and content are up to libraries and can change the ability of screen readers to access the product. As libraries make changes to their Summer Reader site, we recommend using http://colorfilter.wickline.org/ to test the site for the color blind.
Q. How are public library systems expected to support member libraries’ use of Summer Reader?
A. Technical support is provided by Evanced. Public library systems can assist member libraries as they do for all web page matters. Most systems will be involved to a certain extent.
Q. Can systems get statistics for the “Summer Reading at New York Libraries” final evaluation from the software?
A. Statistics, reports, and all information can be generated by each library just for their instance of the software. The systems cannot generate reports pulling from each individual library’s instance of Summer Reader. Evanced will be generating reports for the systems and the State Library. We are working out the specification of that.
Q. Is there a graphic that I can use to link from the library home page to the library's online registration page?
A. Yes. The New York State Library developed a graphic to download from our web site and use as a graphic for a link to an online summer reading registration page.
Q. Can a public library system export or import a Summer Reader program or style sheet?
A. Yes. A Public Library System can create a template for member libraries to use in setting up their own instance (copy) of the Summer Reader software. Please go to http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/summer/smreader.htm#srinformation and scroll down to "Learn more about exporting program set ups and sharing them with other libraries in your system."
Q. Will there be an option for our teen coordinator to use Wandoo Reader while I continue to use Summer Reader? If we can only use one program, when will a decision have to be made about which program we are using?
A: Evanced is setting up a trial option for New York State public libraries that will be available until May 1. During this trial period, libraries can run both programs to test them side-by-side. The library must choose one of the two programs by May 1.
Q. You talked about solving a mystery in the introductory webinar (archived on http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/summer/smreader.htm), but I'm not seeing a mystery to solve. There is a running adventure about escaping the robot’s captors, but when I enter titles it boosts the robot's energy, which allows me to purchase more robot parts that I can interchange. It does not give me any clues to solve a mystery. I understand I can embed secret codes. Is that where the mystery comes in?
A. I think this comes down to semantics a bit. The “adventure” you mentioned is the “mystery.” The story text reveals progressively more about the robot with each ensuing level. We are putting some level limits to slow down the story advancement and improve that sense of mystery.
Secret codes are unrelated to the mystery element, and represent something a library may or may not choose to implement.
Q. I don't see an option to filter out students by the way they logged; books or time. Is there a way to keep track of the statistics of how many students logged by either books or time? That is something that historically New York State has asked for.
A. Yes, the basic logging method of the game is chosen by the library and can be limited to books or time, to meet New York State reporting standards. The library can set up the software to log both books and time.
Q. Many families like logging family reading by days. Any day the family read 20 minutes they log their titles and earn a library certificate. Will reading by days be an option?
A. There is no option to log by days read or in 20-minute blocks. The task of incentivizing the daily reading action (which is an important habit to form!) is handled in a different way.
Wandoo Reader allows you to create Challenges like “Read for 20 minutes a day” that patrons can complete by clicking a button.
So if you want to encourage a daily action or give patrons that option, you can set up a Challenge for them to complete. The logging process will be easier for the patron to understand (Click a button instead of ‘log one 20 minute session’ -- which was often confusing).
Additionally, Wandoo Reader will offer an improved parental logging style where parents can easily record books for their kids via the parent’s own account.
Q. Is it possible in the demo to test how difficult it would be to set up a "20 minute a Day Challenge" now?
A. No. The demo does not allow for this. Once the software is released it will be an option.
Q. I would absolutely want to participate in a training session that taught us how to set up the challenges and levels I want for my community. Can I test the Wandoo Reader set up options now and if so, how I do I go about doing it?
A. There will be training sessions and articles about the new features as they come out. If you sign up for a trial Wandoo Reader site, you'll be informed about all training opportunities.
Q. Is Summer Reader being phased out after 2017?
A. As per the New York State contract with Evanced, Summer Reader and support for Summer Reader will be available until 2017.
Q. The game seems like fun and I'm sure the children will enjoy creating new robots, but the readability of the narrative is very high. Chapter book readers may be fine with it, but younger children won't have any access to what the robot is saying unless an adult sits with them to read it. Are there any plans to add sound to the text so it is read to the children, as if the robot is actually talking?
A. This is a commonly mentioned feature. The expectation is that younger kids will have an adult read to them, because younger kids are rarely logging into a program like this by themselves anyway. We have simplified the language somewhat, but the act of logging a book title is really not in the grasp of a 6-year-old. The game is aimed at kids who are old enough to self-log or who participate with a parent.
Q. I am confused about parental consent for Wandoo Reader.
A. This article should clear it up: http://kb.evanced.info/article.php?id=625. In short, users under 13 need parental consent to play the online game. They do not need parental consent to participate in the program. Kids are welcome to use the in-library portions of the program without parental consent, but any child who is entering private personal information on the internet needs to get parental consent. This is a question of federal law and industry best practices.
Q. Will there be any future webinars to explain more about the new Super Hero program Evanced is creating in Wandoo Reader? Is there a way to receive notification when a webinar is available?
A. The super hero theme is scheduled for release by March 31st. There will be training webinars about both Wandoo Reader and Summer Reader in March and April. Information about these webinars will be sent out via NYLINE messages from the State Library and archived webinars will be posted on http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/summer/smreader.htm.
Q. The administrator end is far easier to use than Summer Reader, but it doesn't look like there is a way to set limits for registration. Right now in my library I can establish the number of books, time, or days children read before they earn library certificates. For example my read-to-me club has parents reading 3 books to children to earn a certificate. My early readers (levels A - F) read three books, while more established readers (F - L) read one book. My chapter book readers read 100 pages to earn a certificate and everyone can choose the option of reading 20 minutes/day. This lets kids know the requirements before they choose a program. Is there a way to define this in Wandoo Reader or is it just the generic setting of choosing easy, medium or hard? Is there a way to define the reading-to-points system you use in the program? Can certain age groups have their choice limited to only one or maybe two play levels?
A. The reading levels in Wandoo Reader pertain only to the game play, and have no connection to or bearing on your prizes or certificates.
In Wandoo Reader, you’d simply create a separate program for each type of reader. Your Early Reader program could have one set of prize rules and your more established readers another. You’d define the programs the same way you do in Summer Reader.
Q. In the demo, is it possible to see the part of the software where I would set up the different reader levels?
A. No, this is not available in the demo, but it will be available in the trial version.
Q. In Summer Reader, my library asks children to write reviews of the books they’ve read. They can print out these reviews to bring to school in the fall. These reviews can serve as reader advisory among the children. Can this be done in Wandoo Reader?
A. In Wandoo this would be set up as a Challenge, the library would determine the number of reviews needed to complete the challenge. Reviews do not appear for others to read. Challenges are not fully set up yet in the trial version of Wandoo Reader.
Summer Reading at New York Libraries is funded through the Federal Library Services and Technology Act, with funds awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The New York State Library is a program of the Office of Cultural Education in the New York State Education Department.