Read Woke with ICPL

We at ICPL are excited to announce a new ongoing reading program,

  Read Woke Reading CHallenge

Provided in partnership with Beanstack, the online platform we use for all our reading programs, and activist librarian Cicely Lewis, Read Woke is designed to challenge people to educate themselves about others through deliberate, thoughtful reading. Started in 2017 as a way to help her Georgia high school students, Lewis determined that in order to be Woke a book must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Challenge a social norm
  • Come from the point of view of an oppressed group
  • Provide information about a group that has been disenfranchised
  • Seek to challenge the status quo
  • Shed light on an issue that many may not be aware of or perceive as important

The Read Woke challenge can be accessed through ICPL’s Beanstack website at and all reading done for Read Woke counts for our current Summer Reading and 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten programs as well.

Participants earn a digital badge for each book read from one of ten different diverse voice categories. Earn three badges from each category to complete the program! If you have questions regarding your Beanstack account or this new program please do not hesitate to contact the library at 319-356-5200 or by using the Ask Us feature at

Be sure to check ICPL’s Staff Picks page for great Read Woke recommendations!

Read Woke is a movement. It is a feeling. It is a style. It is a form of education. It is a call to action; it is our right as lifelong learners. It means arming yourself with knowledge in order to better protect your rights. Knowledge is power and no one can take it away. It means learning about others so that you can treat people with the respect and dignity that they deserve no matter their religion, race, creed, or color.” --Cicely Lewis 

Join the movement. Heed the call. #ReadWoke


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Please make (cool) yard signs that advertise this program!! I LOVE the idea and would like to promote it. Maybe if no time this year in coming years have a contest to design the sign among neighbors of color with a prize of $100 gift certificate to be used at local businesses.

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