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May 20, 2019

Free Summer Access to Reading Materials: Gale Promo Video, Capstone, Sync, B&N, PL

I am sharing this on OSLIST because of the Gale resources that are included in the list. 


To help prevent summer slide, some vendors are making subscription products available in the summer for free. These are the ones I know about. If you know about others, please share. I included information about other access points, too. Please share this information with staff, students, and parents. I am not trying to promote specific vendors; rather, I am sharing about free opportunities.   

  • Capstone Interactive
    • Free access to 3,000 eBooks through August 31
    • Library staff or teachers need to sign up for entire school
    • Will receive a login and URL to share with students and parents before school is out (I did not confirm this, but that’s how it worked last year.)
    • If more than one staff member from a school signs up by accident, will be given the same credentials as those given to the first staff member

  • Sync Audiobooks
    • For teens 13+
    • Can download two complete audiobooks per week
    • New offerings every Thursday (as of 4 am Pacific) each week through mid-August
    • Students (or their parents) can sign up for weekly alert about new titles or check site weekly for new downloads
  • Gale Promotional Video
    • Gale staff created a 1-minute video to share with parents or students
    • Encourages children to use Gale resources during summer
    • In any promotion, be sure to include your school district’s or private school’s Gale login; however, with geolocation, access is possible for those who forget login
    • Can also post video link on your website, social media, newsletters, etc. (but cannot post login on public-facing platforms)

  • Gale Databases (elementary, secondary)
    • Plentiful content in the Gale databases
        • Example: National Geographic Kids (K-8) has over 300 ebooks and every issue of National Geographic Kids magazine
        • Example: Find publications by title, like Muse from Cricket Media, a science and tech magazine for ages 9 - 14 (PowerSearch // Search – no need to enter a search term // Publication Search); sometimes images are removed from articles due to copyright restrictions
      • Books & Authors has book recommendations; users can post reviews, too
      • With geolocation, access is possible for those who forget login

  • Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program
    • For students in grades 1 through 6
    • Read any 8 books this summer and record them in a journal provided by B & N (or teachers can distribute before school is out)
    • Can download journal in English or Spanish
    • Bring completed journal to a B & N store during month of August
    • Select a free book from options listed in journal
    • Don’t live near a store in Bend or the Portland area? Could plan an outing, esp. if passing through the areas anyway for another reason

  • Summer Reading Program at Your Public Library
    • 2019 theme is A Universe of Stories
    • Most public libraries offer programming, events, and/or prizes for participants
    • Encourage students and parents to sign up
    • Remember that many public libraries provide access to ebooks and digital audiobooks, too; helpful for when youth cannot get to the library


Jennifer Maurer
School Library Consultant
State Library of Oregon