Participants in a Geri-Fit, Video-Based, Chair-Based Exercise Class at the public library in West Point, Iowa, population 966.

Welcome to the December 2019 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries. This is the second issue in the new format of our monthly newsletters. Each month we feature a different program idea, and call on YOU to help us build our collective capacity to offer these program in our libraries. This month we highlight chair-based exercises. Last month we highlighted StoryWalk(R) programming.

Based on research Let’s Move in Libraries conducted with the U.S. National Institute on Aging in Spring 2019, chair-based exercises are typically offered in partnership with other individuals and organizations. The benefits of doing exercises in chairs are numerous, and include safety, accessibility, and the ability to use smaller spaces. Just because you’re seated doesn’t mean you can’t get in a full body workout. You can do a lot from a chair, including Yoga, Tai Chi, strength training, balance exercises, dances, and so much more! Has your library ever offered chair-based exercises? Let us know by using this form! This month we call on you to help us build up this Program Idea. At the end of the month, your feedback will be incorporated into our Chair-Based Exercise Program Idea page, where it will remain accessible to other librarians.

How can I get started with Chair-Based Exercises?

The Chicago Tribune highlights Chair-Based Yoga at the public library in Elmwood, Illinois.

Not sure how to get started with this program? Take a look at our Program Idea page. We’ve called on our Advisory Board to help us build up this page, and we will be adding more content throughout the month, and beyond!

Here are some resources and structured program we’ve collected  that you may find helpful.

Geri-Fit –a tier level III evidence-based bodybuilding class for older adults
National Institute on Aging. Free Workout Videos.
ChairOneFitness – a comprehensive chair exercise program
Ageless Grace – Timeless fitness for the body & brain
East Cobb Library builds confidence in its senior patrons to reduce their risk of falls. Georgia Public Library Service.
Mobility for All, Bring Chair Yoga to Your Library. National Network of Libraries of Medicine.
Neese, A. W. (2018, September 3). Seniors learn to improve their balance, strength to prevent falls. Retrieved September 3, 2018, from The Columbus Dispatch website.
September 05, E. P. | on, & 2018. (2018, September 5). Chair Yoga coming to Waterboro Public Library. Retrieved September 6, 2018, from Journal Tribune website.
Pisano, M. (n.d.). “We recognized a need”: Yoga classes popular at Elmwood Park’s library. Retrieved February 1, 2018, from
Mita Havlick: Hello to chair yoga, farewell to late fees at Dallas libraries.
Chair Tai Chi for Adults with Limited Movement — North Brunswick Public Library
Library to offer lunch hour chair yoga | Williamsport Sun-Gazette
Is there a resource you’ve utilized to bring this program to your library? Share with us and we’ll share with other librarians!

Every month, we’ll be featuring a different Program Idea. Is there one you’d like to see featured in a future month? Let us know!

Are you a yoga librarian? Let researchers know in Librarian / Certified Yoga Teacher Survey!

Kari Mofford, Undergraduate and User Services Librarian at the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth, and Megan Benson, Instructional Outreach Librarian at Binghamton University Libraries in New York, are working to determine how many librarians or library workers are also Certified Yoga Teachers (CYT) or Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT).

If this sounds like you, fill out the survey they have created. The questionnaire will take 5-10 minutes to complete and the librarians have pledged to make the results publicly accessible. Asked how they came up with this idea, Kari and Megan told us “we are both full-time academic librarians and part-time yoga teachers were very curious to know how many others may be out there like us. We also are curious to know what that combination has brought for others in terms of benefits and/or challenges.”

Are you trained in other forms of physical activity, such as Zumba, Martial Arts, etc.? Let us know! We’re always looking for stories of active librarians dedicated to sharing their passion for active living with others through library programming!

Join our community!

During the October 2019 meetings of our Advisory Groups, we decided to re-launch our online group on Facebook. We invite you to join the 100+ librarians already in the group. This is YOUR SPACE to ask questions, get advice, share successes and challenges, and generally get the support you need to make a difference in your community.

Consider joining us, and if you have a question about chair-based programming, go ahead and ask it in this group!

Use the Let’s Move in Libraries logo: A free resource!

Did you know that our logo is completely, 100% free to use? It’s true! You can download it and get started here. If you have any questions, just reach out to us! All that we ask is that you share back how you use the logo: Banners, T-Shirts, Flyers, Decals, Bumper Stickers, Coasters, the sky is the limit!

News from Let’s Move in Libraries 

We are thrilled to share that Advisory Board member Jenn Carson is featured in the Winter issue of [Edit] Magazine, one of the main publications of Maritime Canada. Learn more here. Jenn also wrote an article for the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office on her public library’s annual Reindeer Run program. Way to go!

In Bucyrus, Ohio, advisory board member Barbara Scott reports that the public library received $2,500 from the United Way of Crawford County for a Winter StoryWalk program held downtown, as well as for a portable sound system so that the library’s hugely successful Music, Movement, and More program can be taken “to the streets” during uptown monthly summer events next year. It’s wonderful seeing more and more libraries offer active programming both inside the library and outdoors as well, and during all seasons! Way to go!

In Iowa City, advisory board member Bobbi Newman and the Greater Midwestern Regional Library of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine are offering librarians in the Midwest “Resolve to Stay Active: A Fitbit Kit for Your Community.” If you live in  IA, IN, IL, OH, KY, ND, SD, WI, MN, MI, apply for these kits, which will “lower barriers to providing health-related programs and outreach in public libraries.”

Let’s Move in Libraries Director Noah Lenstra will be presenting and talking about the project at a number of conferences and webinars in Spring 2020. First, on February 2-5, Noah will be at the Active Living Conference in Orlando, Florida, where he will co-present a talk advisory board member Sandy Mayer of the Orange County Library System on the topic of “How to think about public libraries in active living.” Also at the conference, Noah will present the poster “Extending access to opportunities to exercise in small and rural communities: Studying public libraries as venues for active living among older adults,” on the Spring 2019 Geri-Fit in the Library Study conducted by over 50 small and rural public libraries across 17 U.S. States.

Then, at the end of February, Noah will be at the Public Library Association conference in Nashville, Tennessee. There, on Friday, February 28, at 1 p.m., Noah will present “Healthy Living at the Library,” in the Exhibit Hall at the Niche Academy Booth. Join him for a 30 minute conversation on this topic, and learn more about his book on this topic, being published by Libraries Unlimited in April 2020.

Finally, in June, Noah will be at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Chicago. He will be leading a session sponsored by the ALA’s Allied Professional Association on the topic of how to “Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Your Community: How Supporting Healthy Living Among Library Staff Builds Healthy Communities.” Even if you’re unable to make these presentations, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us and we’ll be able to try to meet you during these events.

What are you up to? Let us know!


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!

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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.