The April 2024 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries includes:

  • A save-the-date for StoryWalk® Week 2024
  • How to join us at the Public Library Association Conference
  • How to bring a Play Day to your community
  • How to build community and improve well-being, playfully
  • An invitation to our monthly Birds of a Feather call

This month’s featured image comes from the 2024 National Conference on the Value of Play, sponsored by the U.S. Play Coalition!

On April 16-18, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana, this event will bring together leading play researchers, librarians, educators, health scientists, park and recreation professionals, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the globe.

This year, Let’s Move in Libraries is joining with the U.S. Play Coalition and the LaundryCares Foundation for a Libraries, Learning & PLAY Forum!

Learn more at the conference webpage. If you can’t make it in person we’ll be featuring highlights in future newsletters! We’re so excited for this partnership.

Here is more information about this special day. Libraries, Learning & PLAY Forum
Tuesday, April 16, 9am-6pm. Location: Bloomington | Indiana University

Meet The Experts Featured in the Forum
(listed in alphabetical order):

The US Play Coalition is collaborating with the LaundryCares Foundation and Let’s Move in Libraries to bring the Libraries, Learning & PLAY Forum to the 2024 Conference on the Value of Play. The forum is also available as a standalone daily option. Registration fee for the Libraries, Learning & PLAY Forum only is $159/person (includes conference keynote luncheon!)

Register for the Libraries, Learning & PLAY Forum online at this address.

Full conference details are available at https://usplaycoalition.org/playconference24

Let’s play!

A save-the-date for StoryWalk® Week 2024

We’re thrilled to share that for the fourth consecutive year we are teaming up with the Association of Bookmobile & Outreach Services (ABOS) for the Fourth Annual StoryWalk® Week celebration!

This year the fun will be November 10-16.

And we’d like to invite you to share your stories as well! We feature them online and in our newsletters to inspire others.

To participate, all you need to do is a share a photograph of your library’s StoryWalk from the year 2024, along with a brief caption. We’ll be opening up the call for participation in October 2024.

To get ideas and inspiration check out the webpages for

StoryWalk Week 2023

StoryWalk Week 2022

StoryWalk Week 2021

And our StoryWalk resource page.

Let’s get moving outside!

How to join us at the Public Library Association Conference

We’re thrilled to share that we will be at the US Public Library Association conference for all three days and we can’t wait to meet with any of you who will be there.

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 on April 3 at 2 pm. Learn more and register here.

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. Here is the session description:

“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. You’ll leave with renewed confidence in your ability to find partners, cultivate working relationships with them, and keep relationships fresh and impactful. You’ll also learn how to advocate for the time you needed for this process. Everyone goes home with a print toolkit.”

If you’re going to be at the conference, you can let us know by filling out our meet-up registration form, or simply sending us an email!

We hope to see you in Ohio!

How to bring a Play Day to your community

A Play Day is a playful event in communities that is a free event organized around resources, skills, and interests inherent to the community.

The Play Day Project is open to communities around the world, and some locations have funding available through ChangeX. The Play Day Project was inspired by the nonprofit LetsPlayAmerica.org based in Takoma Park, Maryland USA. Let’s Play America believes everyone deserves to play.

We recently spoke with Pat Rumbaugh, co-founder of Let’s Play America, and we’d love to invite public libraries to consider learning more about Play Days and consider bringing one to your community.

Through their partnership with ChangeX, you can get free guides and resources on how to bring the Play Day idea to life.

Depending on where you live there may even be funding available to help you get started!

Learn more at ChangeX.

You can also download the Play Day Handbook directly at the Let’s Play America webpage.

Let’s play together!

How to build community and improve well-being, playfully

We also recently spoke with Dawn Daria of Flow Circus, a husband and wife team whose mission is to inspire creativity and bring fun and play to life’s messiness.

Dawn and her husband Paul Miller started with public libraries over 20 years ago when Paul worked as a summer reading performer at public libraries up and down the East Coast of America. Dawn and Paul started thinking about how they could support public libraries wanting to integrate play into their libraries all year round, which lead to the development of training workshops they’ve developed and delivered with state libraries, library associations, library staff development days, and more!

They have a dedicated webpage on the play-based services they offer to libraries. Check out their Library webpage to learn more.

They also have a ton of videos you can watch on their webpage to get inspired to try to do something new and playful at your library.

An invitation to our monthly Birds of a Feather call

Want to join a community of public library workers and partners interested in the topics celebrated by Let’s Move in Libraries?

Have a burning question you’d like to ask other librarians?

Join us in our monthly Birds of a Feather conversation series.

Beginning in February 2023, we host monthly one-hour Birds of a Feather online conversation. The next event will be April 17, 2024 at 12 pm Eastern / 9 am Pacific. Join us for an inspiring, engaging, open and lively conversation.

What is a Birds of a Feather conversation? It’s an opportunity for individuals with shared interests to gather together (birds of a feather flock together) to share resources, inspire one another, and generally build community.

Here are some of the resources shared in our March 2024 conversation:

These events are never recorded so that all participants can share freely. Join us!

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Subscribe to the Let’s Move in Libraries newsletter for monthly editions of success stories, educational opportunities, and food for thought that will deepen the impact of HEAL (Healthy Eating & Active Living) programs and services in public libraries. Also follow the project on FacebookInstagramYouTube, and Twitter to stay up-to-date. The Let’s Move in Libraries project focuses on how public libraries create opportunities for individuals of all ages and abilities to engage in healthy activities.