The August 2022 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries includes:

  • Information about The Teaching Kitchen Collaborative
  • An inspiring story of a library that encourages Reading Beyond the Beaten Path through a nature scavenger hunt in a park
  • A new article on how “True Play and Literacy Connect at the Library”
  • A new class on “Placemaking: Making it Happen”
  • A new research article on how public health partners often perceive public librarians, and what we can do about those perceptions

This month’s featured image comes from Washington, D.C., where American University in collaboration with DC Public Library, invites public libraries across the United States to become hubs for making neighborhood games and interactive stories using your local history and landmarks.

Learn more at the project website.

Applications are due August 15.

This is a great opportunity to try something new that would encourage your community to be more active outside, walking around neighborhoods and parks to learn about art, nature, history, and the community more generally. The organizers will provide you with training, templates, funding, and inspiration.

This project is funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum & Library Services. We encourage all to consider this project!

Learn about The Teaching Kitchen Collaborative

Our thanks to David Eisenberg, MD, Executive Director, The Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, for sharing the following with Let’s Move in Libraries:

“Have you heard of the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative? We’re on a mission to catalyze and empower a growing network of innovators changing lives through food. Are you that innovator?

Interested in following the teaching kitchen movement or running a teaching kitchen? Our vision is a world in which teaching kitchens are everywhere—advancing personal health and health of the planet. We invite you to join us in the growing movement!

You can learn more about our memberships and upcoming research conference on the attached flyers. If you already have a teaching kitchen, add it to our Food Is Medicine Map! To learn about upcoming webinars and developments, you can sign up for our mailing list. And, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

You may be wondering, what exactly is a teaching kitchen? We describe them as learning laboratories for life skills where chefs, dietitians, physicians, and other instructors can teach anybody to eat, cook, move, and think more healthfully. Teaching kitchens can be in any setting where people gather: schools, universities, public libraries, workplaces, hospitals—the possibilities are endless. And as a part of clinical care, teaching kitchens are changing the healthcare landscape.

We believe that we’re capable of achieving more together than we are alone. Join us!”

A new class on “Placemaking: Making it Happen”

Excited by this project and want to learn more about this topic? The Project for Public Spaces invites you to learn everything you need to know to implement and manage your very own placemaking project, including facilitating community engagement, translating a vision into a plan, and implementing Light, Quicker, Cheaper transformations.

This October they’re gathering public space advocates from around the world for a four-week online training on placemaking tools and principles.

Learn more about this online class, and scholarship opportunities, at their webpage. Scholarship application deadline is Friday September 2nd, 2022.

A new article on how “True Play and Literacy Connect at the Library”

Last Summer, we wrote a series of articles for the US Play Coalition on how play and librarianship come together. This Summer, we are thrilled to pass the baton to Liz McChesney, who served as the Chicago Public Library Director of Children’s Services and Family Engagement, where she earned numerous national awards, including the American Library Service to Children Distinguished Services Recipient.

Liz’s first article focuses on how “True Play and Literacy Connect at the Library,” and features amazing examples of this work from Madison, Wisconsin, and Kitsap, Washingon.

The photo on the left is from the article: It documents a Wild Rumpus program offered by Madison Public Library in collaboration with Anji Play.

Greg Mickells, CEO of Madison Public Library, may say it best: “True Play contains many elements fundamental to learning, including critical thinking, risk, and curiosity; but what I have witnessed with Anji Play is how important joy is to literacy. Having an opportunity that brings joy to learning should be an experience for all children.”

Learn more about how and why to incorporate True Play into your library’s programming in Liz’s article!

An inspiring story of a library that encourages Reading Beyond the Beaten Path through a nature scavenger hunt in a park

We want to thank Paula Dugan, Head of Children’s Services at Needham Free Public Library, in Massachusetts for sharing this inspiring story with us! We’re always seeking stories like this one. Consider sharing yours!

“As part of this year’s outdoors focused Summer Reading Program for children, called ‘Read Beyond the Beaten Path’ the Needham Free Public Library in Needham, Massachusetts is inviting families to do a nature scavenger hunt at the Redwing Bay Park.  Families pick up a Nature Scavenger Hunt page at the Children’s Desk or print it out form the library web page. They visit the park independently and walk the trails to look for the plants, flowers, insects and other natural items pictured on the scavenger hunt page. They mark off the ones they find and return the sheet to the Children’s Desk to claim a prize.  The back of the scavenger hunt page includes information on each item families may encounter on their search – such as how many species there are of a plant or insect, different names for a plant, if a species is native or invasive, and facts about an animal habitat.

“The activity gets families enjoying summer fun together outside, gets them walking the trails,  and provides a hands-on-learning experience about the natural environment in their own hometown.   Children are receiving information from the library, in this case about nature, in an active, fun and engaging way. It ties the library to its surroundings in the community and demonstrates to families how information from the library can be applied to their lives.”

A new research article on how public health partners often perceive public librarians

On July 13, 2022, the Journal of Library Outreach & Engagement published “Public librarians and public health: How do partners perceive them?” the first research article to emerge from HEAL (Healthy Eating and Active Living) at the Library, our IMLS-funded project.

The research article is published open access, meaning anyone around the world can read it for free.

The article identifies some of the challenged associated with successfully communicating the idea that public librarians are public health partners.

We’d love to hear about your work communicating to potential partners that your library wants to team up with them. What strategies have you found work well in terms of getting the word out that the library is looking to team up with the community? We’d love to hear from you!

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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 movement-based programs and services in public libraries. Also follow the project on FacebookInstagram, 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 physical activity.