Staff Report

From January 1 to February 13, the Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley Libraries will host a six-week Winter Reading Challenge for children, teens and adults to start off the bright new year with the transformational power of reading!

This year’s Winter Reading Challenge will be held completely online through Beanstack, a website and app that makes keeping track of your reading incredibly easy and fun, and its theme – Books Like Us – invites readers to celebrate diversity and the power of seeing their stories reflected in books. Readers who used Beanstack for the 2020 Summer Reading Program can simply log in to their existing Beanstack account and sign up for the Challenge on January 1st, and new users can get started by creating a free account in just a few minutes. Visit, or download the free app for Apple and Android devices to log your books on the go. 

During each week of the Winter Reading Challenge, the Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley Libraries will hold drawings for exciting prizes such as themed gift baskets, gift cards to local restaurants, stickers, games, art kits, books and more, thanks to the generous support of our local partners. Readers are eligible for prize drawings each week that they log at least one book in their Beanstack account. Books of all kind are welcome, including print books, eBooks, graphic novels, and audiobooks.

In addition to local drawings, our community also has the chance to win national prizes from the publisher Simon & Schuster, the sponsor of the Books Like Us program. The ten libraries with the highest participation will win virtual author visits from the likes of Stuart Gibbs, Sharon M. Draper, and many more, plus a collection of fifty books from the Simon & Schuster Books Like Us collection.

“We are thrilled to launch this program and to read together as a community as we did over the summer,” says Goleta Valley Library Children’s Librarian Elizabeth Saucedo. “Expanding our annual Adult Winter Reading Program to include readers of all ages this year is an exciting opportunity for all of us to start off 2021 with a fun goal and a great book!”

The 2021 Books Like Us Winter Reading Challenge will open January 1st. For more information on programs and events at the Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley Libraries, see the calendar at or check out the Facebook pages of the different Library branches at or

Happy reading, Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley!