Helping Libraries Connect with Students

Bookawocky Logo

Creating a virtual hangout

The Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) came to us with the admirable goal of keeping students reading during summer vacation – a time when students often lose ground in their academic development. 

MELSA wanted to create a place online for students to track and share their reading experiences. The result is Bookawocky, a website that offers incentives for continuing to turn pages throughout summer. Bookawocky gives kids a place to share books and discuss their readings.

Bookawocky screen capture

Engaging young readers

We began with workshops with MELSA stakeholders and librarians to gain insights into what digital incentives and features would work to entice kids to keep reading.

Bookawocky stack of books

Building a community

Our research led to some simple but powerful visuals, such as, "book stack" where students could watch an ever growing virtual representation of the books they finish.  

Bookawocky badges

Gamifying reading

We also created reward badge system, so as students complete activities, such as volunteering at their library or listening to an audio book, they can earn badges and compare their accomplishments with friends.


summer readers
book reviews
Nerd hours worked

Bookawocky has received a large marketing push in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area and thousands of young readers participate every summer. 

We've been proud to be a part of its  growth each summer as MELSA continues to grow the program and find new ways to encourage students to read.

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