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

  • An invitation to join Let’s Move in Libraries new regional structure
  • Inspiring stories from Oklahoma, Illinois, Ohio, and Massachusetts
  • News you can use from the Association for Rural and Small Libraries
  • A save-the-date for a webinar on food security and public libraries in January 2023

This month’s featured image comes from our second annual StoryWalk® Week celebration, held November 7-11. In partnership with the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, we featured on our social media more than 200 StoryWalk stories from across North America.

Did you miss it?

You can see on our website all the StoryWalk Stories featured in both 2022 and 2021.

You can also get started with a StoryWalk program at our StoryWalk resource page.

This particular picture was submitted by the Hartford Public Library in Hartford, Connecticut. Librarians there wrote “Hartford Public Library partnered with Hartford Athletic and [health insurance company] Cigna to create a StoryWalk in Hartford’s Colt Park. The StoryWalk provides opportunities for children and families to engage in a recreational and learning activity as they read ‘Froggy Plays Soccer,’ and complete various physical activities at each panel. For the launch of our StoryWalk students from a nearby school visited and participated in the fun activities!”

Thanks for sharing, and thanks to everyone who participated!

We’ll be putting out a call for StoryWalk Week 2023 next October.

Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss that invitation, and share with a friend or colleague you want to see join us in 2023!

An invitation to join Let’s Move in Libraries new regional groups

Beginning in 2018, Let’s Move in Libraries has had an Advisory Board of librarians and partners committed to working collaboratively to advance the goals of this international initiative.

As Let’s Move in Libraries has expanded, our Advisory Board highlighted the opportunity to start a new regional structure.

To that end, we invite you to consider joining the new regional structure we are creating!

What does the Let’s Move in Libraries regional structure look like?

We are seeking library workers, library partners, and library allies to become co-leaders of new Let’s Move in Libraries Regional Groups.

Get started by filling out this very brief interest form, and we’ll follow up with interested individuals in a planning call in January 2023 to get the structure going!

Deadline to apply?

December 16, 2022

Term of service?

Two years, subject to renewal based on interest

What’s involved?

To distribute the Let’s Move in Libraries network we are seeking to form at least six regional groups that will bring together library workers, library partners, and/or library allies in specific parts of the world, including regions of the U.S.A. and Canada.

Co-leaders of these regional groups will be responsible for the following:

  1. Sharing Let’s Move in Libraries newsletters in their regions
  2. Developing the topic of, and recruiting speakers for, at least one webinar per year
  3. Developing at least two blog posts or newsletter articles per year
  4. Making regional connections via quarterly online meetings open to and advertised regionally

To do this work, you’ll be able to rely on the infrastructure of Let’s Move in Libraries, including our Zoom subscription.

This regional structure is completely new, so we welcome any and all feedback or ideas! Our goal is to create more platforms for more individuals to be involved in Let’s Move in Libraries, and also to create more pathways for members to shape the initiative in whatever ways they see fit.

Get started by filling out this brief form.

Inspiring stories from Oklahoma, Illinois, Ohio, and Massachusetts

We want to think members of Let’s Move in Libraries for sharing the following inspiring stories from their communities!

Share your story to be featured in a future newsletter, and on our website, to inspire others and to shine a light on the amazing work you’re doing in your community!

Ashland Public Library Junior Naturalist Club

The Public Library of Enid and Garfield County in Enid, Oklahoma, shares that “We offer Yoga for Balance and Strength every Monday evening and SAIL (Staying Active and Independent for Life), an exercise program on Wednesdays and Fridays. Our patrons have reported gaining strength and improved balance since participating in our programs.”

The Ashland Public Library in Ashland, Ohio, shares that “We started a Junior Naturalist Club here to connect elementary-age kids with nature! Through activities, nature journaling, and time in the great outdoors, we will explore and learn about the natural world. We partnered with our local park system to host the club at different county parks.

We just started the club, so we have only met twice so far! But, at our last meeting, the kids had a blast exploring outside. We even found a salamander (Pictured here)! There is research supporting that these early experiences in nature benefit kids in a lot of ways and help them to care about the natural world. The benefits of nature journaling are extensive, too, so we are hoping to create a lasting impact with this activity as well.”

Des Plaines Public Library Move & Groove Program

The Des Plaines Public Library in Des Plaines, Illinois, shares that “Our Move & Groove program (pictured here) combines movement, nature, and early literacy.” Impacts of the program include “Community partnerships have grown. Patrons have benefited from the program being near their homes. Children learned through play, reading, movement, and imagination”

Needham Free Public Library Goat Yoga program

The Needham Free Public Library in Needham, Massachusetts, shared that “We hosted a Goat Yoga program, held outside in the park. Chip In Farm provided the goats and the library provided a certified children’s yoga instructor.  The people and goats were enclosed together inside  temporary fencing. Adults and children did the yoga poses together as a family program. Everyone enjoyed having the goats climb on their backs during certain poses. Some people enjoyed doing yoga for the first time, enticed by interacting with the goats. It was a healthy family program that got everyone moving together.”

News you can use from the Association for Rural and Small Libraries

Earlier this Fall, the Association for Rural and Small Libraries Conference featured a session on Sharing Our Stories to Support Health & Wellness at Work and in Our Communities. It was an amazing conversation on this important topic, co-led by Dr. Noah Lenstra of Let’s Move in Libraries, alongside colleagues from Wayne State University and the the Appalachian Regional Library System.

Andrew Wilhelme from Wayne State University shared some of his reflections from the session in “SIS student gains valuable experience at ARSL conference.”

Some highlights:

“The following day I had the opportunity to participate in our session, Sharing Our Stories to Support Health & Wellness at Work and in Our Communities, featuring Professor D’Arpa and Professor Lenstra, who presented findings from the four states in our IMLS-funded study: Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Vermont. Suzanne Moore, county librarian for Wilkes County, North Carolina, joined us to share details of health and programming in her public library and talk about the Wellness Wheel (see our session handout). We wanted to spend most of the session hearing from the audience so after a brief presentation we opened the floor and invited participants to share their experiences hosting, partnering and providing health and wellness programming in their own libraries. While some described programs similar to the ones we’d found in our research – story walks, yoga instruction, cooking classes, exercise and nutrition classes focused on seniors and more – there were many stories whose activities and themes I had not come across.”

Read the full article here.

A save-the-date for a webinar on food security and public libraries in January 2023

We are still organizing the details, but we want to share that we’ll be starting January 2023 with an interactive webinar on perceptions and efforts of public libraries in Illinois to address food insecurity during COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Miriam Z. Rosen, who recently earned her PhD from Dominican University in Chicago while working as a librarian, conducted this important research. Join us and Dr. Rosen to learn about her study, what she learned, and also to share with your colleagues about your efforts and perceptions related to public librarianship and food security. It will a lively, informative event! All are welcome.

The event will take place in Zoom on Tuesday Jan 24, 2023 ⋅ 2pm – 3pm (Eastern Time – New York).

More information will be shared in our January 2023 newsletter.

If you’d like to sign up, you can do so here. Registration is now open!

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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 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 activities.