Review of Evanced Summer Reading Software

Provided by Evanced!

Property of Darien Library

This year we choose to do something a little different for our summer reading website. Last year’s website was a single page with me adding custom icons that reacted to being hovered over. Kiera, the head of the Children’s Library, decided that she wanted to go “all online” this year. She wanted to have children to be automatically entered in the drawing whenever they read X amount of minutes. She then discovered that we could use the Evanced Summer Reader software since we are a Connecticut library (check to see if your state library offers any goodies to your library).

Kiera and I attended one in-person training session to learn the product. It was promoted as being easy to customize. Within moments I realized that I would have to do some major overrides in the CSS to get what we wanted out of the system. My first attempts were shaky as the backend is broken down into dozens of CSS stylesheets. It’s somewhat difficult to figure out where you need to make a change to keep it consistent! So I wrote in to Evanced and they gave me some pointers. After that I was able to make changes on my own. I did discover a last minute weird behavior where I could not position the Registration button above the dynamic text. This surprised me to say the least!

You can see in the screenshot above what the initial site looked like and the comparison to our live site. Since the design for this year came in a bit later that I anticipated, the site is not fully customized as to how I’d like.


  • The spies/logo was designed by a freelancer that we hired.
  • The bright starburst background was originally in the logo, but I edited it out and placed it as the background of the website instead.
  • Using more spy language like “Gumshoe” and “Agent Name” was an inspired last minute change on my end.
  • The strange placement of items on the page is two fold:
    1. The system does not recognize between a logged in vs. a logged out user.
    2. Browser differences.

Overall, I’m pleased with our website. I’m all hyped up with an idea for next year’s theme. Check back then to see if it happens!


  1. Amanda,

    I wanted to say thanks for this post, and that I liked the Summer Reading detective page you came up with for 2013. I can see on this page: your code to add the image in column 1:

    #column1 {
    background-image: url(“”);
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    padding-top: 216px;
    vertical-align: top;

    I thought I found where to place that in Evanced, but it doesn’t seem to want to work. I’m sure you’re plenty busy without fielding coding questions here, but any tips/help would be great.


  2. Hello! I just started working on our 2014 evanced Summer Reading website. I believe the spot for this is in… Home then the bottom right box, select the last option. Then click Home page. I think it’s the main content area.

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