Welcome to the February 2019 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries. This edition highlights: a) a request for you to help us in our partnership with Go4Life, b) the launch of a series of articles on how libraries support physical literacy, and c) updates on ongoing Let’s Move in Libraries projects.

Wheelchair users attended an intensive Zumba session at Qatar National Library. The fitness exercise was one of the Library’s events organized in celebration of National Sports Day.

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. This month’s featured image comes from the Qatar National Library, which held a free Zumba class for differently abled individuals as part of its National Sports Day celebrations on Tuesday, February 12. All throughout February, the Qatar National Library is holding special programs focused on promoting healthy lifestyles. Read more about what this nation is doing to promote healthy physical activity!

Help us understand how public libraries get older adults moving!

As part of Let’s Move in Libraries ongoing collaboration with the National Institute on Aging’s Go4Life campaign, we have developed a very short, one-page survey specifically focused on physical activity programming for older adults in public libraries. We estimate that this survey can be completed in 10-15 minutes. The results of this survey will inform the development of the Let’s Move in Libraries’ Go4Life in Libraries partnership. 41 libraries have already completed the survey! It will be available until March 15, 2019, and results will be shared in the April 2019 Let’s Move in Libraries newsletter. Thanks for your time!! Click here to start the survey.

A new series of articles on physical literacy in the library

The Canadian non-profit organization Active for Life has launched a new series of articles highlighting what public libraries do to promote physical literacy. The first article discusses how the library is becoming “an indoor and outdoor active living space,” and focuses on the L.P. Fisher Public Library and the work director Jenn Carson has done to transform her library into a space that promotes physical literacy for all.

Active for Life also highlights libraries in its Community Toolkit, which proclaims that “this toolkit will be helpful anywhere children are active at the local level: recreation centres, community associations, local health and wellness groups, even libraries.”

In the past, Active for Life has also highlighted libraries that check out physical literacy resources like soccer balls and jump ropes, and future articles in this series will highlight other ways that libraries get us moving. We’re excited to read more!

Updates on Let’s Move in Libraries projects

On February 12, Let’s Move in Libraries teamed up with the State Library of Iowa for a free webinar entitled “Let’s Get Moving in Iowa Libraries! Physical Activity Programs for Fun & Health.” 54 librarians attended and we had a great discussion about the six ways that libraries get their communities moving: 1) Add movement to existing programs, 2) Embrace play, 3) New collections, 4) New spaces, 5) Focus on outdoor recreation, and 6) Fitness and exercise classes. If you missed the webinar, the slides are now online, and the video recording will be available soon!

On February 17, Let’s Move in Libraries is attending the Active Living Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, and presenting a poster on “How public libraries promote active living through community partnerships.” This annual conference is the “premier multi-disciplinary conference for sharing the latest research, policies, and practices that advance activity-friendly communities for everyone,” and we’re excited to bring public libraries into this venue!

From March 6-8, project director Noah Lenstra will be at the invitation-only 2019 Sharing Knowledge to Build a Culture of Health Conference sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Houston, Texas. Lenstra will share how libraries help build cultures of health through physical activity and nutrition programming.

Highlights of libraries that move

Thanks to everyone emailed us (or tagged us on social media) with stories of how you move in your libraries. We’d like to share a few examples. Share with us news from your library! Tag us on social media and email news directly through our website. We’d love to hear from you!

Gavin J. Woltjer, library director of the Billings Public Library in Montana, sent us photos of his library’s Polka Party. He said “We had over 30 people attend the event—not bad for a cold night in Montana. People suggested we do this every month.”

Amie Torok shared that “The North Columbus Public Library, a branch of Chattahoochee Valley Libraries [Georgia], offered Silver Chair Fitness 101 in partnership with a local wellness center and fitness group. This was the first time the library has offered a chair exercise program and it was a huge success for our senior demographic! The Silver Chair Fitness program falls underneath our monthly adult learning series titled, “Start Something New.” Each month library patrons have the opportunity to learn a new skill, activity, literacy enhancement and more. We always collaborate with a community partner such as the wellness center for community engagement and discovery. The North Columbus Public Library also offers a monthly waking bookclub called, Fitness Fridays.”

The West Point Library in Iowa shared that their Geri-Fit Senior Classes started with a bang in January, and in fact “exercise classes” was something the library discovered was hugely needed in their community needs assessment.

Patricia C. Spencer from the Lewis & Clark Library in Helana, Montana, shared the announcement that they are starting a “Walk and Talk” Book Club that starts and ends at the bookmobile, when the bookmobile comes to a local park as part of its rotations.

Wenona Phelps of the Laurel Public Library in Delaware shared that, with funding from the Delaware Library Association, the library started a “Healthy Living with Laurel Public Library initiative,” that includes under-the-desk peddlers, exercise classes, walking groups, and more!

Michelle Bennett-Copeland of the Fulton County Library System in Atlanta, Georgia, shared that her library has started a “Let’s Move in Libraries” program series. We are developing a large story on this exciting new development! Look for it on our website in the weeks to come! She’s also the newest member of our Advisory Board!

Dani Longley from Naples Public Library in Maine shared that the library just started, with the Naples Recreation Department, a new program called “Yoga Your Way,” with sessions at the library throughout February.

Priya Rathnam of the Shrewsbury Public Library in Massachusetts shared that the library’s Memory Cafe for people with forgetfulness, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and their caregivers sometimes includes dancing to music, or gentle exercises.

We’d like to hear and share how you move in your library!! Share with us news from your library! Tag us on social media and 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. Tag us on these platforms to share what your libraries are doing!

Was this newsletter forwarded to you?

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.