BookPoints is an open source web application developed by The Galecia Group to help public libraries bring their paper-based summer reading programs online. Librarians can easily customize the application’s game logic and design template to match their existing paper-based program -- as well as take advantage of unique online features such as achievement badges, book reviews, online raffle drawings, and more.
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The Galecia Group was hired by the California Library Association (CLA) to support implementation of the Great Reading Adventure (GRA) summer reading program software in Summer 2015. CLA had received a grant that would allow them to offer the program to approximately 25 California libraries to use for free but they needed help with the technical aspects of doing so. After that first year of supporting libraries on the GRA softrware,we advised CLA to rebuild the software on a non-Windows platform (Linux, Apache, PHP, Drupal). Using the GRA software as a model, we recreated the program (with some exceptions) in time to offer it to the libraries to use again the next summer. We named the new software Bookpoints. Most of the libraries stayed with the pilot project of Bookpoints and worked with us throughout the development and testing. They used the software successfully and have been excellent development partners. Throughout this time we have been working with the Library of Virginia who also used GRA and then moved with us to Bookpoints,providing critical development funding for our development efforts.They also hosted another group of libraries on their own VA server.
After summer 2017, we worked closely with the libraries that had used the software to identify the high priority features that they wanted us to focus upon. We also brought in additional development resources from BitSource and DevCollaborative to supplement our Galecia team led by Jim Craner. The 2017 version is being released in April, 2017 and libraries will be going live on their customized versions starting in May, 2017.
As soon as the 2017 season of summer reading is launched we will begin working on the 2018 version. We will continue to partner with the Library of Virginia, however, California libraries libraries have lost their grant funding and CLA will no longer be involved in the project. The Galecia Group will continue to work with Virginia and our development partners, and hopefully most of our California libraries to host and support them in 2018 but the service will be fee-based. We will also be seeking additional support to keep the development going.
My pals at ByWater Solutions invited me to talk about our open source summer reading software, Bookpoints. Jessamyn West has been working with us as we complete our 2017 version of the software so I invited her to join me so we could all have an open source love fest. Listen to the podcast here: http://libraryisopen.com/bookpoints-podcast/.
And if you've never heard of Bookpoints....well! It's the summer reading program software we created in partnership with California Library Association and Library of Virginia. It is inspired by the good work of Maricopa County's Great Reading Adventure (GRA). We are hosting around 25 libraries in California who will be using Bookpoints for the second year. Library of Virginia hosting another cohort that has also been working with us since the early GRA days. Our project page is readingbydesign.org.
There’s something great happening in California, Arizona, and Virginia and it’s all about summer reading. It began when Maricopa County Library District (MCLD) developed the first ever open source summer reading program (SRP) software. Their software, The Great Reading Adventure, (http://greatreadingadventure.com/), was the brain child of an MCLD staffer who garnered support from his library and received a nice infusion of IMLS grant funding. Their software was hugely popular. For one thing, what a great name! And for another, the kids loved it. They earned badges for reading and other activities -- and it was fun! Another reason is that The Great Reading Adventure (GRA) was the first opportunity for many libraries to deliver a web-based summer reading program. Though there are other products available to libraries, those products are commercial products requiring subscriptions that many libraries cannot afford. The Great Reading Adventure was something any library could afford.
After that first year, the California Library Association began working with the folks at MCLD and brought in my company to support California libraries that wanted to use the GRA software. With LSTA funding and our help, even more libraries were able to use a web-based SRP.