St. Francis Public Library


What is 500 Books Before 15?

It is a program that encourages youth to read 500 books before they turn 15 years old!

Why would I want to do that?

Besides the fact that reading is lots of fun and one of the best things ever?! Reading helps you build up your vocabulary as well as your concentration.

What do I have to do to participate?

It’s super simple and can be completed in 5 steps!

  1. After you sign up at the St. Francis Library, collect your drawstring bag, reading log, and, of course, things to read! You can also sign up online on Beanstack and log your reading online, or on the app. If you register through Beanstack, you can collect your drawstring bag at a future visit to the St. Francis Library.
  2. As you read, or listen, to your items, write down the title and author on your reading log, or log it on Beanstack. If you read or listen to something multiple times, each time you read/listen can be marked on it’s own line/logged into Beanstack. It also counts if someone reads to you as well, just try to pick books that are appropriate for your reading ability and age.
  3. When your reading log is full, which means you have read 50 books, bring it back to the St. Francis Library! While you are there, you’ll get a new log and two buttons of your choice. You can use your buttons as a cool reminder of how far you are in the program or just as a decoration.
  4. Continue with the first three steps until you’ve reached 500 books! This will take time though, so don’t worry about rushing to finish. Even if you don’t end up finishing, that’s okay as well. The important thing is that you are trying and reading new things!
  5. When you’ve finished your 500th book, you’ll get a special button, a certificate of completion, and a Lion’s Tooth gift card!


Frequently Asked Questions:

Do you need to participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program in order to sign up?

No, while participating in that program is great, it is not necessary. Each participant starts this program at zero.

How old do I have to be to register for this program?

Participants can register for this program starting at 6 years old.

Can you count a book that you have to read for school?

Absolutely! Any completed book counts towards the 500 book goal.

Do e-books, graphic novels, manga, comics, or audiobooks count?

Yes! As long as the book is fully read/listened to, then it can count towards your goal.

I watched a movie based on “X” book, does that count?

While movies based on our favorite books are fun, it would not count towards your goal. It would have to be a title that you’ve read, or listened to, in its entirety.

If I re-read an old book, or read the same title multiple times, does that count?

Yes, if you re-read a book you’ve read in the past, or read a book multiple times those count. Example: if you re-read The Wizard of Oz every year, each time you read it counts as one completed book.

Can I participate in 500 Books Before 15 along with other reading programs? Ex. the Summer Reading or Winter Reading Program?

Yes! Books you read for our, or any other library’s, reading programs also count towards 500 Books Before 15!

What do I do if I lose or misplace my paper reading log?

No worries, things happen! If you lose or misplace your current reading log, you can always stop by the St. Francis Library and pick up a new one. You can also print one off from our website.



St. Francis Public Library | 4230 S. Nicholson Avenue | St. Francis, WI 53235 | Phone: (414) 481-7323 | Email: