Sommerles (which means Summer-read) is a national, digital reading campaign organized by the public libraries in Norway. The campaign runs yearly from June 1st to August 31st and is free for all children from 1st to 7th grade. Our goal is to encourage an interest in reading and ensure that the children read as much as possible through a long summer vacation! By using elements from computer games, Sommerles has become a popular summer activity for many children since it was first launched in Vestfold county in 2014.
Sommerles is completely free for all children. On the website (sommerles.no) the children can collect XP (points) for each page they read, do tasks connected to the reading, follow friends to see what they read and earn digital trophies. They can also earn small prizes that they can collect at their local library. They can follow a story written by Mari Moen Holsve, written exclusively for Sommerles and only available online. In 2017 a total of 58,963 children participated, but we expect to break that record in 2018 (of course).
To join the campaign the children have to create a user account on the website (sommerles.no). The website is open from June 1st, but the children can join all summer. The prizes are determined by their own progress not by how other participants are doing. When signing up we will ask for the email of a guardian and the guardian must agree and consent to the child joining the campaign. Ethics and good practice is important to Sommerles, and the library staff expects that all behavior on the site is of a positive nature. To ensure this, the library staff supervises the Sommerles users belonging to their library. Sommerles follows the new GDPR that will come into effect on 25 May 2018.
Sommerles collaborates with other NGOs supporting children´s reading (Leser søker bok, Foreningen Les and Norsk lyd – og blindskrift bibliotek) to create the best reading experience for as many children as possible. From the summer of 2018, the Sommerles story is also available in audiobook format, and we do our best to ensure that all text on the website in the long term is as accessible as possible for all children.
Sommerles.no was created, developed and is owned by Vestfold County Library, the Vestfold Libraries and Snuti AS. Snuti AS is in charge of the design, develops and maintains the technical solutions and answer questions connected to this. From 2018, all the county libraries in Norway take turns developing the content for each new Sommerles. Sommerles 2018 is developed by Telemark and Finnmark county libraries, together with Snuti AS.
Project manager for Sommerles nationally is Vestfold County Library. In 2017 and 2018 the project group has been working to raise Sommerles to a national level, as well as increasing the level of gamification through an integrated game for the website. In 2018-2019 the project group will conduct research to analyze the effect of Sommerles on children and reading, in a project with researchers from Møreforsk Molde.