When local libraries and schools both use Beanstack, they can set up a tandem connection so that readers can link their profiles. Linked readers can see and participate in challenges from both organizations and seamlessly switch between the two. And once linked, reading logged on one site automatically transfers to the other.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about tandem connections and tandem links. Still have a question? Reach out to us at beanstack.com/support!
Tandem site connection FAQs
What sites can connect via tandems?
A Beanstack library can connect to one or more schools or districts, and a Beanstack school or district can connect to one or more libraries, as long as the Beanstack administrators for each site agree to the connection!
Can a library connect to another library?
No. At this time, tandem connections can only be set up between libraries and schools.
What account data is shared between connected sites?
A reader's first name, last name, age, grade, school, username, and email (if collected) are shared between the school and library when a tandem link is initiated.
What site or registration information is required to implement tandems?
On the library site, you must enable school as a registration field, and ideally require the field to ensure all eligible readers see the option to link their profiles. You must also add all connected schools as options in your site's schools list, which may require changing the naming convention used.
Since school readers are imported from set rosters and don't register themselves, certain required registration fields on the library site, like phone number or zip code, may be bypassed when a school reader creates a new library account through the tandem linking process.
How do I start the tandem connection process?
Follow the steps here!
Tandem profile linking FAQs
How do readers create a tandem link?
Once your tandem connection with the other site(s) is live, your readers can create a link from the Beanstack web app. They will see a banner at the top of their Beanstack homepage letting them know they can now link their profiles, with a button that takes them straight to their settings to start the link.
If a school reader dismisses the banner and wants to create a link later, they can click the account gear in the top right corner of their screen and select "Link Profiles" to select their library, input their login information or create a new account, and start the link.
If a library reader wants to create a link later, they can click their reader avatar in the top right of their screen and select "Edit" and then "Basic Information" to edit their reader info. They'll then select the correct school, input their school login information, and start the link.
Can a library account with multiple readers link to one or more individual school profiles?
Yes! During the tandem linking process, users are prompted to select which library reader profile to link to their school profile.
So, for instance, if Ravenwood Middle and Moose Hill High are both connected to Frog's Leap Library, a family account at Frog's Leap with two middle- and teen-aged readers would be able to link each reader to their respective school profiles at Ravenwood and Moose Hill.
Can a reader link to multiple profiles?
No, a link can only be created between a library reader profile and a school reader profile.
What happens if a reader tries to link to a profile that's already linked?
After entering the account login information to set up a link and selecting a reader that's already linked to a third, different profile, the reader will see a message informing them that the profile is already linked. They can then break the existing link and replace it.
For instance, Jessa started her freshman year at Moose Hill High and has a new Beanstack account and profile. She logs in and starts to create a link to her Frog's Leap Library profile, which is already linked to her old Ravenwood Middle profile. She can then revoke and replace that old link, so that her Moose Hill High and Frog's Leap Library profiles are linked instead.
Can readers create a tandem link from the mobile app?
At this time, readers cannot start a tandem link from the Beanstack mobile app. But once they create the link on the web, any reading logged on the web or the mobile app on one linked profile will be transferred to the other.
What logging information is shared between linked profiles?
When a linked reader logs a reading session, all log types active on the other linked site are transferred.
Take the following example: Moose Hill High has books and days active on their site, and Frog's Leap Library has minutes and days active on their site. Linked reader Jessa signs in to her school account and logs one book completion on April 1. That day of reading will transfer over to her Frog's Leap Library profile's log, but the book completion will not.
Does logged reading from before the profiles were linked transfer between linked profiles?
No. Past logged reading on one profile does not get added to a newly linked profile retroactively, but any logged reading on one profile will automatically get added to the other moving forward.
How can linked readers switch between sites?
Once a profile is linked, a "Switch" icon appears in the top right corner of the web app, which opens a new browser tab to their other profile's homepage. And when a linked reader clicks a challenge offered by the other linked site, a new browser tab opens to that challenge page on their other profile.
Why isn't the switch button taking me to the right linked profile?
If your browser is logged into a different account on that connected site, when you click "Switch," you will be directed to that account's homepage instead of the linked profile's account homepage. Simply sign out and sign in with the correct account.
How can staff tell if a reader is linked?
On the admin side, any linked reader profiles are marked with a link icon next to their reader name in Find A Person search results and on their individual reader profile page. If a linked reader isn't displaying the link icon, we suggest checking to make sure there aren't duplicate accounts causing confusion.
How do readers revoke or replace a tandem link?
Library readers can revoke or replace an existing tandem link by clicking their reader avatar in the top right of their screen, select "Edit," and then clicking "Basic Information." School readers can revoke or replace an existing tandem link by clicking the account gear and then selecting "Link Profile."
They'll see a "Revoke Link" button halfway down the page. Once they end the existing link, they can start a new one with a new profile at a connected school. This can be especially helpful when a reader switches schools!
Can staff or administrators revoke or replace a tandem link?
Staff cannot end a tandem link from the admin side. If a reader needs help ending or re-routing their tandem link, log in with them using their information and then guide them through the steps above.
What data can I see about tandems?
Library staff can access the School Tandem Connected Readers report to get a list of all linked readers. The report shows the reader's first name, last name, age, grade, school, profile connection date, and logged reading.
Does reading from linked profiles appear in challenge reports and general reports?
Yes! Reading from linked profiles is counted toward a reader's data and your site's challenge data and general data just like any reading logged directly on your site. The source of the reading is not differentiated or identifiable within reports.