The Great Reading Adventure (GRA) is a robust, open source software designed to manage library reading programs. The GRA is free to use, modify, and share!

The GRA functions on computers, tablets, and mobile phones.

Features include:


Engage participants by letting them put together a customized avatar that they can share via social media. The GRA includes almost 4,500 avatar image assets provided under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal License which can be interchanged to create billions of avatar combinations.


“Digital Badges are an assessment and credentialing mechanism that is housed and managed online. Badges are designed to make visible and validate learning in both formal and informal settings and hold the potential to help transform where and how learning is valued.” – MacArthur Foundation

Digital badges are an easy way to enhance your reading program. They can be used in addition to (or as a replacement for) physical incentive prizes. Digital badges go beyond the momentary happiness that a toy incentive provides, as they carry with them recognition of achievement, engagement, and personal identity. The Great Reading Adventure makes it easy to create badges for those who participate in library and other community experiences.

Here’s an example of how it can work:

  • A participant attends a program at your library.

  • At the end of the program, you give the participant a secret code for attending.

  • The participant enters the secret code into their online reading log.

  • The participant receives the badge. The integrated badge wizard makes the process simple: create an event, upload or design a badge, and assign a secret code. It’s a great new way to tie the online summer reading program to the events in your bricks-and-mortar locations.


Create carousels of materials or electronic resources which are shown when participants log in. Carousels can be scheduled so the items shown can change as frequently as you like.


Participants can perform a number of tasks in order to complete challenges. Tasks are very flexible and participants can complete them away from the computer, by completing activities online, or by reading books. The system awards points and a badge when they complete a number of tasks in a challenge.


Prize drawings can occur from a pool of all participants or from a specific set of participants based on drawing criteria (such as everyone who earned a certain amount of points over a certain date range or participants registered at a specific location). The system saves criteria for easy reuse.


Send periodic emails to participants who have opted in or interested parties who have provided an email address during your “pre-open” or “post-close” periods. You can send email directly from Mission Control and participants can unsubscribe from their profile or with a single click in any email. Email addresses can be imported and exported to streamline transitioning from last year’s program to this year’s program.


The built-in event system allows entering all events that occur during the program that helps publicize your events and possibly supplement an existing event management system. Events easily link to challenges or secret codes to relate them back to earning points and badges.

Families and Groups

Groups of participants can represent families, communities, or local organizations who are working with the program. Codes and activities can be entered in bulk for groups. Groups can be imported from a spreadsheet to simplify initial setup.


The GRA’s built-in mail facilities allows direct engagement with participants without requiring them to provide an email address or leave the system. Any number of back-office staff can handle incoming messages from the threaded administration interface. The system also sends broadcast messages to all participants if desired.


Create as many informational pages as necessary to add to the site. Pages are edited in Mission Control using CommonMark mark-up or HTML.

Participant management

Participant management has different configurable permissions so that volunteers access a subset of features and access is restricted from personally identifiable information (if desired).

Performer management

The built-in performer scheduling system allows performers to register themselves along with their availability (indicating calendar dates and times throughout the program when they are or are not available). Staff can then go and select specific performers and schedule them during their availability.


Want to award a special badge when participants earn a certain amount of points? Configure a mega-badge when participants earn a set of several other badges or complete a number of challenges? Triggers are the answer! Triggers can award badges or prizes based on the criteria you configure.


You put a lot of time and effort into your summer reading program- it is important to know that what you are doing has an impact. The GRA’s comprehensive evaluation tools will help you do just that.

With our pre- and post-testing modules, you can deliver an assessment to participants and compare their scores to their activity during the program. The system auto-scores the multiple-choice assessments, which gives you all the data with none of the hassles.

The assessment module doubles as a survey tool, so you can simultaneously gather qualitative and quantitative data to tell a more impactful summer reading story.


With The Great Reading Adventure, immediate access to your program’s vital statistics is just a click away! At-a-glance stats give you a quick breakdown of registrations and completions and in-depth reporting allows you to drill down into the details.

All reports are exportable to HTML and Excel, putting all the summer reading data you need right at your fingertips.