Trying something new can be intimidating. Sometimes it just takes a trusted institution, like a public library, to offer an introduction for someone to take that step. Library staff will learn in this webinar how to build partnerships and to offer classes that bring wellness to the forefront.
This webinar is led by Erin Schmändt, Caro Area District Library, who presented this topic as “Yoga? Zumba? Meditation? Those Aren’t For me!” at the Leading Big in Small Places virtual rural library conference sponsored by the University of Michigan School of Information, the Library of Michigan, and the Institute of Museum & Library Services in November 2021.
Here is more information on Erin’s journey, from that presentation:
“A few years ago, my assistant director and I attended training from the Harwood Institute on Community Conversations. It taught us, as the library, to Turn Outward and start conversations with residents about what they wanted their community to be. From that we learned many things. One was that while our community has lots of wide, open spaces (fields and forests), we also have high rates of obesity, smoking, and unhealthy habits.
Another was that while we have unhealthy habits, many residents want opportunities to live an active, healthy lifestyle. I was raised by generations and generations of farmers and people involved in the agricultural field. They know what hard work is, but are often too busy working to focus on the healthy part. The conversations helped make some things happen in the community regarding parks. Now, how could the library help? We can teach them new activities that will add to a healthy, active lifestyle. Why the library? They trust us. We have been teaching them for decades. Literacy activities for their kids, computer classes, craft classes, and so much more. Walking Club was the first fitness program that we started.” Learn more in the webinar!