Welcome to the August 2019 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries. This edition highlights: 1) upcoming, free webinars focused on helping public librarians offer healthy living programs, 2) a new Let’s Move in Libraries story featuring a member of our advisory board, and 3) a look at how libraries ended summer programming with fun physical activities.

Children play with water blasters at the Suffolk [VA] Public Library Carnival. Photo courtesy Suffolk News-Herald.

This month’s featured image comes the Suffolk Public Library in Virginia, where the library wrapped up summer programming with a Library Carnival program on August 3, 2019. There, families celebrated their collective summer reading success with games, pony rides, crafts and a vibrant cloud of colors. According to Suffolk Public Library Communications Coordinator Angie Sumner, roughly 600 people attended the carnival and enjoyed all of its free festivities.

“What we wanted to do was create a community experience,” said April Watkins, early childhood services senor librarian and the library’s carnival team lead. “(We wanted to) create something where people can come out together and play, which is so important in the library. Learn more about this program in coverage provided by the Suffolk News-Herald, which includes photos, an article, and a video. Did local media cover any of your summer library programs? If so, share with us! We are always seeking out these types of stories!!

Follow (and share with) Let’s Move in Libraries on FacebookInstagram, Twitter, and YouTube to stay up-to-date with what public libraries do to get their communities moving, in Summer 2019 and beyond! Beginning in April 2019, the Let’s Move in Libraries logo became freely available for any entity to use for non-commercial purposes. Go here to download the logo. Just let us know how you use it!

Upcoming, free webinars

Based in part on our collaboration with the Children & Nature Network, a national non-profit whose mission is “to connect all children, their families and communities to nature through innovative ideas,”they released a special edition of their newsletter in July 2019 focused on “Libraries as Nature Connectors.” Check it out! And also consider signing up for a free webinar they are offering on this topic on August 22. Upcoming Webinar: Libraries as Nature Connectors “Join us for an upcoming webinar as we explore ways cities can maximize library assets, partnerships and resources to bring the benefits of nature to local residents.The free CCCN webinar will explore the use of public libraries as venues to connect children and families to nature and feature case studies from CCCN cities. Thursday, August 22nd 2:00 – 3:00 PM CT.” Register for the Webinar.

Then, on August 27, at 1 p.m. ET the Southeastern/Atlantic Regional Library of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM SEA) is offering a free webinar on “Libraries as Partners in Health: Nashville Public Library.” Elizabeth Roth, coordinator of the Be Well at NPL initiative, will share her story. According to the webinar description “When establishing new community partnerships for NPL, Elizabeth loves hearing the health service sector exclaim, ‘I’ve never thought about doing this at the public library, but it makes so much sense!'” Attend to learn how you can elicit similar reactions in your community so that you can form the partnerships you need to be able to offer high impact active and healthy living programs. Register for the webinar.

Let’s Move at the Library in Gorham, Maine!

Our Advisory Board Member Heidi Whelan shared this story with us, based on her experiences at the library in Gorham, Maine (pop. 16,381): Summer Fun at Baxter Memorial Library! It’s a great example of a library that has embraced the Let’s Move in Libraries ethos of weaving fun physical activity into library programming!

“Our Spring Into Summer kick-off event on Tuesday, June 18 from 2:00-6:00pm included lots of options to get moving! Instructors from Gorham Rec’s various movement classes led us in some short family-geared sample classes. It was a great opportunity to try Zumba, Yoga, and more. As always we had our perennial favorites such as face painting, touch-a-truck, hot dogs, snow cones and more.

Percy the Dragon on the way to the finish line!

The youth reading program is an eight-week whirlwind of activities, reading, and prizes. Help Percy the Dragon finish their 5K as you read and earn great rewards. Visit the library to pick up a game sheet to record your reading. The goal is to complete sixteen hours by Labor Day. Listening to audio books, reading graphic novels, reading stories together, and any other activities involving the written word count as ‘reading time.’ Most of all, have fun with your reading! For every four hours of reading we reward you with prizes including bookmarks, a free Subway kid’s meal, a book of your choice from our prize cart, and a small pizza from Dominos. Thank you to Gorham Subway and Gorham Dominos for donating these awesome prizes in support of our Summer Reading Program. Parents and children 2 years old and younger can also participate with our Wee Readers program that incorporates early literacy activities to do with your child.

This summer our adult reading program encouraged participants to “Go the Distance” with a semi-guided Couch to 5K training program including weekly run meet-ups during the eight weeks of summer reading culminating in a 5K race sponsored by the library. Not interested in running? Simply pick up your reading checklist and Go the Distance on your reading goals! We’ll host a book discussion series and have prizes for our reading checklist. Sign-ups began during the Spring Into Summer kickoff event!

The Family Challenge is back! When at least one child and one adult from the same household finish their respective Summer Reading Programs, they can be entered into a drawing for a family five-pack of movie tickets to Cinemagic, Westbrook. We have many other exciting activities planned! FMI check out our website at or call 222-1190 for up to date information on our programs throughout the summer. All library programs are free and open to the public.”

A look at how libraries ended summer programming with fun physical activities 

As Summer begins to wind down, let’s take a look at what other libraries are doing to get us moving as we celebrate the end of summer library programming.

A carnival attendee attempts to toss a bone into a painted dog’s mouth in order to win a small stuffed animal at the End of Summer Reading Program Carnival on the grounds of the Ottumwa Public Library in Iowa.

In Ottumwa, Iowa “Carnival marks the end of summer reading.” A variety of game booths, 10 in all, were strewn across the lawn as well as a drink table and arts and crafts station. “We do this every year,” said Allyson Kirking, children’s librarian. “A lot of the games, the library has been doing for many years.” But every couple years, she said, the library brings in something new. “We try to rotate them so we’re not doing the exact same thing every year.”

In Ohio, Salem Public Library held an Out of this World Palooza! on August 10, featuring special visits by Toy Story movie characters Buzz and Woody, a scavenger hunt, water bottle rockets, a super soaker alien race, exploding space rocks, a do-it-yourself craft, face painting, prizes and refreshments!

In Oak Park, Illinois, the Oak Park Public Library teamed up with the Equity Team (E-Team), Dominican University, and Oak Park Elementary School District 97 for the free Power of Partnerships summer school program. Held at the library, participants in this program did yoga, built architectural models, programmed robots, sang, danced, and performed spoken word.

In Wisconsin, the La Crosse Public Library hosted Get Up and Go Day! on Saturday, August 3. This event, sponsored by PBS Kids, “engages Wisconsin families to get active and be healthy.” Read more about this unique program and partnership in the La Crosse Tribune.

Also in Wisconsin, the Manitowoc Public Library held a free Summer Carnival on August 3. Julia Lee, Youth Services manager, said that “Our carnival is made possible by a partnership with Grow It Forward. In addition to the usual farmers’ market stalls and vendors, you can also hug therapy llamas, enjoy live music provided by the Ryan Kautzer Band, bounce your socks off in not one but three bounce houses, play mini golf and enjoy a variety of carnival games.”

In Texas, the Longview Public Library’s Summer Reading Club End Party featured “piles of bubbles, free books, free school supplies, the park’s splash pad, a firetruck, a bounce house, bike giveaways and snow cones and other refreshments.”

And, finally, in Illinois, the Lincoln Branch  of the Peoria Public Library gave away 91 bikes this Summer! “We’ve been doing it at Lincoln Branch for 20 years now. We started with one bike and it has grown to 91 bikes. So it’s an awesome thing,” said Cynthia Smith, branch manager.

How did you weave healthy physical activity and physical activity promotion into summer programming at your library? Let us know!!!

More generally, we’d like to hear, and share, how you move in your library!! Tag us on social media or email news directly through our website. We’d love to hear from you!

Follow (and share with) Let’s Move in Libraries on FacebookInstagram, Twitter, and YouTube to stay up-to-date with what public libraries around the world do to get their communities moving.

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Subscribe to the monthly 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. 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.