The December 2023 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries includes:

  • The “I Partner with My Public Library” Awards Ceremony, and a save the date for 2024
  • A call for participation in a conference on the Future of Play
  • How and why to join our Birds of a Feather Zoom call in December
  • An inspiring story from Illinois
  • The final call to join the first phase of our research on the intersection of food justice and public librarianship

This month’s featured image comes our annual partnership with The Association of Bookmobile & Outreach Services: StoryWalk® Week! For the third consecutive year, during November 2023 we celebrated StoryWalk® Week with participating public libraries!

This month’s featured image showcases the StoryWalk® Story of Farmville, North Carolina, where the Farmville Public Library says “Our StoryWalk proves you’re never too old to read a picture book because many seniors read the titles during their walk.”

Want to look at all the StoryWalk® stories we celebrated? Check out our StoryWalk® Week 2023 webpage!

In October 2024, we’ll be putting out a call for participation in the fourth annual StoryWalk® Week celebration! We look forward to featuring your story.

The “I Partner with My Public Library” Awards Ceremony and a save the date for 2024

On November 3, 2023, we held the first annual I Partner with My Public Library Awards ceremony! We were honored to feature the stories of 10 awardees across America who team up with public libraries to make a difference in communities. One of those Awardees, national non-profit Vision to Learn, shared brief remarks about the importance of public library partnerships, and their “vision” of teaming up with public libraries to ensure that all children have access to vision screenings and eyeglasses. We also shined a light on Honorable Mentions in the categories of non-profits, government agencies & businesses, and affiliates of state and national organizations.

Watch the recording on YouTube, and go to the I Partner with My Public Library webpage to read more about all the awardees and honorable mentions.

We’ll be putting out a call for nominations in 2024 on June 1, 2024 in our monthly newsletter!

A call for participation in a conference on the Future of Play

The US Play Coalition is now accepting proposals for Educational Sessions, Poster Presentations & the Play Research Symposium at the 2024 National Conference on the Value of Play: The Future of Play. The conference will be held April 16-18, 2024, at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. “THE FUTURE OF PLAY” will explore play and technology, play across the lifespan, play in libraries, play in the workplace, play in the classroom, and play in relation to universal issues of access, equity, inclusion and more.

The US Play Coalition wants to ensure that public librarians know that this conference is for YOU!!! They want you to come, they want you to share, and they need to hear your voices!

The deadline is coming up: With poster proposals and educational sessions due December 6, but if you need a little more time to get something together do not hesitate to reach out to Stephanie P. Garst (she/her), Executive Director, US Play Coalition.

How and Why to join our Birds of a Feather Zoom call in December

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 December 20. 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.

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

An inspiring story from Illinois

Our thanks to Becky Keane from the Niles-Maine District Library in Illinois for sharing this inspiring story, that resulted in the library making the front page of the local newspaper!

“This August, we partnered with Bike/Walk Niles and the Niles Fire Department for a community bike ride.  It was called, ‘Incorporating Unicorporated Des Plaines.’ There were several goals for this program;  to encourage cycling as a mode of transportation, to engage and support residents in the unicorporated area of the library district, and to promote safe cycling and first aid.

Through this program we reached people that we hadn’t before.  They were enthusiastic and engaged on the ride.  During the first aid presentation by the Fire Chief, they asked great questions and all received mini-safety kits.  I think we were highly visible to the community and garnered a lot of attention.  It was successful and will be repeated next summer.”

Learn more on the library’s webpage.

Thanks Becky! Share your story to be featured in a future newsletter and to inspire others!

The final call to join the first phase of our research on the intersection of food justice and public librarianship

On December 15, 2023, we are closing our call to public library workers across America to join us for a short online conversation about this topic. Over 100 public librarians have expressed interest in participating and we want to give everyone one final chance to get invovled.

Our hope is that through these conversations and convenings, we will strengthen our knowledge about the public library work that goes into food-related programming and partnerships. Our ultimate goal is to use this understanding to build infrastructure, advocacy, and awareness around it. Get started by filling out this short, one-page form, which we designed to collect information on public library workers interested in joining these conversations, to be scheduled in Winter-Spring 2023-2024.

UNC Greensboro Department of Information, Libraries, and Research Associate Professor Noah Lenstra, along with Dr. Christine D’Arpa at Wayne State University in Detroit, were recently awarded an 18-month grant, from the Mellon Foundation’s Public Knowledge program for their research, “Public Libraries and Food Justice.”

You will also be invited to add your voice to the White Paper that will be produced as a result of these conversations. Look for more information in a Let’s Move in Libraries newsletter in late Spring / early Summer 2024!

Drs. Lenstra and D’Arpa will work with a strategically selected team of research fellows and graduate student assistants to convene three meetings of public library workers. The purpose of these convenings, and of the overall project, is to better understand how and why public libraries become involved in food justice efforts. The results of this exploratory research project will set the stage for more in-depth analysis of the roles of public libraries in supporting, sustaining, and possibly accelerating local food justice movements across America.

Join us in this exploratory project! Add your voice and join the conversation. You can also share this link with others you think may be interested in joining the conversation (

Learn more on the Let’s Move in Libraries webpage.

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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.