We’re thrilled to share that we will be at the 2024 Public Library Association conference for all three days and we can’t wait to meet with any of you who will be there as well. We’re especially excited to invite you to an in-person meet up to take place Wednesday, April 3, from 4:30-6 pm near the Exhibit Hall. This is an opportunity to meet colleagues, network, connect, and also get a copy of our Cultivating the Relationship-Driven Library Toolkit.

Let us know if you’ll be coming to the in-person meet-up so we make sure we have enough toolkits and space, and so we can keep an eye out for you!

In addition, you can join Dr. Noah Lenstra at OCLC’s Public Library Research Agenda Panel, taking place in their booth in the exhibit hall on April 3 at 2 pm.

Finally, you can join us Friday, April 5 at 12:30 pm at the How-To Stage where Dr. Noah Lenstra will be presenting How To Cultivate Relationship-Driven Libraries: A Four-Step Guide for Lasting Partnerships. We hope to see you in Ohio!

LET’S GET HEALTHY, TOGETHER

Everyone has a role to play in increasing healthy living, including libraries! The Let’s Move in Libraries Project receives its inspiration from Former First Lady, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, which from 2010 to 2017 focused on increasing healthy living among Americans through the promotion of Healthy Eating and Active Living, or HEAL, across the entirety of the US federal government.

Let’s Move in Libraries continues to focus on the critical importance of community collaboration to community health. In Fall 2023, Let’s Move in Libraries launches the “I Partner With My Public Library Award Celebrating Community Collaborators,” the first award of its type. In this award we seek to shine a light on the health departments, the Yoga instructors, the Parks & Recreation agencies, the Master Gardeners, the local businesses, and the many, many others who collaborate with public libraries to transform communities. On October 2, 2023, we announced the 10 winners for 2023. On November 3, we held our award ceremony for all awardees and honorable mentions. On June 1, 2024, the call for 2024 nominations will open.

Cultivating the Relationship-driven Library

RELATIONSHIP-DRIVEN LIBRARY

You’ve heard the adage “Teamwork makes the dream work,” but what does that actually mean, and how do we apply this principal to our work in libraries?

As part of a federally-funded project, for a year and a half we interviewed 129 individuals in 18 communities across America (25 library directors/managers, 44 front-line library workers, and 60 library partners) to learn more how teamwork makes their dreams work.

Cultivating and sustaining the relationship-driven library has four steps: 1) planting the seeds of partnership, 2) nurturing co-developed ideas, 3) harvesting and celebrating accomplishments, and 4) resting and preparing for future partnerships.

This toolkit will help you discover renewed confidence in your ability to find partners, cultivate working relationships with them, and keep relationships fresh and impactful, as well as how to tactfully step back from relationships that aren’t working the way you hoped they would. Finally, you’ll learn how to advocate for the time you need for this process.

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HEALTHY EATING AND ACTIVE LIVING

HEALTHY LIVING AT THE LIBRARY FOR ALL AGES

BABIES TO PRESCHOOL

  • Libraries support early literacy through healthy, inter-generational play activities that contribute to the development of fine and gross motor skills.
  • Begin lifelong culinary literacy in programs that introduce new foods and flavors
  • Take your programs outdoors with a StoryWalk®!

ADULTS

  • Libraries have become a place where you meet up with friends and fit physical and culinary literacy into your daily life.
  • We can help you stay healthy! Interested in preparing for your first 5K? Thinking about starting Yoga, Zumba, dancing? Want to learn more about gardening or cooking? It’s time to start active and engaging programs at your local library!

YOUTH AND TEENS

  • The library becomes a safe and fun space for healthy living as schools reduce physical education and home economics offerings.
  • Learn more about Yoga, running, Nerf capture the flag, miniature golf and other popular program ideas.
  • Supercharge your Summer Reading programs with fun, healthy living activities!

SENIORS

  • Regular physical activities help seniors maintain their ability to do the everyday things they love doing.
  • Chair yoga, Silver Sneakers, Tai Chi and balance classes support independence, strength and brain function.
  • Your library can become a great place to gather with friends and meet new people around food and shared meals.
0
LIBRARIES ACROSS THE USA AND CANADA WITH ACTIVE PROGRAMS (ca. 2017)
0%
OF LIBRARIANS SAID NEW USERS CAME TO THEIR LIBRARIES BECAUSE OF HEALTHY PROGRAMS
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NUMBER OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN THE USA (Source: IMLS, 2020)

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