Your guide to family events, stories and news in Western Wisconsin.


Read and Explore (Virtually) at the Library

this summer, read books, learn things, win prizes, and more!

Menomonie Public Library
Menomonie Public Library

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library 

Get ready, get set, and go virtual for the Eau Claire library’s summer reading program! Kids can track their reading progress virtually, using the app Beanstack, on a paper copy available for pickup at the library, or on a printable version available on the library’s website. 

Some of the awesome prizes available include a book they can keep forever, a frozen custard scoop from Culver’s, and four secret raffle bundles. Youth Services Manager Kelly Witt said she can’t spoil all the fun, so you’ll have to join the program to find out what the secret raffles are! 

In addition to the reading program, the library offers a series of virtual events throughout the summer – including Marionette Making, Time Capsule Journals, Storm the Capsule, Teen LitWits Book Club, Virtual Nerd Night, Sherlock Holmes Takes the Case by Traveling Lantern, and Brainy Connections with Peter Johnson – among many other programs.

During an average summer, Witt said, the library serves around 2,000 kids for the reading program. “We’re just worried that kids won’t have access to reading materials,” she said.

But, fret not! The library will offer curbside pickup throughout the summer. They also have a whole slew of electronic resources available at their website – and you can even get an electronic library card!

For more information about summer programs, visit

Menomonie Public Library

Caribou Coffee gift cards? Harry Potter-themed baskets? LEGOs? Those are just a few of the prizes that are a part of the Menomonie Public Library’s virtual summer reading program this year!

The program has three different levels: adults, teens, and children. Prizes for adults and teens include an assortment of fun gift cards, while the prizes for children include three different themed baskets: Harry Potter, Lego, and art supplies.

Originally, Jodi Bird, the Youth Services Department manager at the Menomonie library, said they planned for musical performances as a part of their reading program. 

“We hadn’t gotten that far,” she said, “and maybe it’s a good thing we didn’t get that far.”

Since the pandemic, the Menomonie library pivoted to using the app Beanstack. Over the summer, they will continue to offer curbside pickup. As of June 1, they’ll open their doors to 20 people at a time in addition to curbside pickup.

When it comes to helping kids read during a pandemic, Bird encourages parents to let kids choose books for themselves so they’re more compelled to read this summer. 

“That’s so key,” she said. “At least they’re reading something.” 

More information about the Menomonie Public Library’s reading program can be found at

Chippewa Falls Public Library 

“We are… making the best of summer, different though it may be this year,” said Jessi Peterson, children’s librarian at the Chippewa Falls Public Library, “and most importantly making the most of summer for our youngest community members.” 
For the library, that means an online summer reading program with prizes such as coupons for local businesses, grab bags, and (of course) books! They will also use the program Beanstack, but they’ll start their program a little bit later in July.

Grab-and-go activity packs will be available, and they offer virtual storytimes and other programs through the library’s YouTube channel, which are available right now, Peterson said. 

Curbside pickup will continue through re-opening, whenever the library is able to reopen. 

More information will soon be made available on the Chippewa Falls Library website at

Altoona Public Library

The Altoona Public Library’s interactive, nine-week-long online summer reading program includes raffle prizes for kids and teens such as nifty $25 gift cards, Bluetooth headphones, nail and hair “glam kits,” LEGO movie maker kits, books, and way more. Adults have the chance to win book bags with new fiction and non-fiction reads, a Kindle Fire HD8, as well some swaggy gift cards. The library plans to give away a whopping 189 prizes, according to Regina Arndt, the youth services librarian. 

“(The) summer reading program will look a little different from past years,” Arndt said, “as it will be in an online format.” Like other local libraries, they will use the Beanstack software that participants can access through the Altoona Public Library’s website and Facebook page on June 15, as well as through the Beanstack app.

For more information on the reading program, check out the library’s website at starting on June 15.

This was made by

Rebecca Mennecke  author

Rebecca Mennecke joined the Volume One team as Associate Editor in 2020. Rebecca studied creative writing and journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and formerly served as editor of None of the Above, managing editor of The Spectator...