Welcome to the January 2021 edition of the Let’s Move in Libraries newsletter. This month we highlight:

  • Resources on safe, outdoor programming
  • A new story on Charlie Cart at the library
  • Future directions for Let’s Move in Libraries in 2021

This month’s featured image comes from Hanover Public Library in Ontario, which recently announced that due to its popularity, their downtown StoryWalk(R) program will be extended into the new year. Read a story ?as you walk?‍♂️ down main street. Learn more on the library’s website, and then get started with this program by reading our article Take a StoryWalk Through Downtown with the Library and our StoryWalk Program Page.

Did you know that libraries can and do promote safe, fun, healthy outdoor experiences all Winter long? It’s true! Last month we joined staff from the Colorado State Library and the Iowa State Library for a webinar entitled ‘Tis the season for outdoor programs (really?). If you missed it, not to worry! On the Colorado State Library’s website you can download the Session Slides (with speaker notes), Ideas and resources shared during the session (so many ideas!), the Session Transcript, and watch the full recording. OCLC/WebJunction also published a re-cap of the conversation, entitled Outdoor Winter Programming Ideas.

Word has gotten out that public libraries are turning their attention to outdoor spaces. This week, the New York Times reported in article “Igloos and Iceless Curling: How New York Hopes to Fight Off a Grim Winter,” that “The Brooklyn Public Library, which is open only for grab-and-go book service, set up a free outdoor living room with internet access outside its central branch in Grand Army Plaza, which will remain through the winter — but without heaters. The library is also planning so-called story walks, in which pages from children’s books will be displayed in an outdoor trail. ‘If we can’t bring people into our buildings, we’ve been thinking about bringing our services out,’ said Fritzi Bodenheimer, a library spokeswoman.”

How are you utilizing outdoor spaces to continue engaging your communities safely during COVID-19? We’d love to hear from you and to share your story! Contact us.

A new story on Charlie Cart at the library

Farmer Luke using the Charlie Cart for a virtual program in Middletown Connecticut

Have you heard of the Charlie Cart Project? Libraries around the country have gotten involved to promote culinary literacy for all. To highlight and support this trend, we worked with staff from the Russell Library in Middletown, Connecticut to share their story participating in this project. Learn more in our new story Food as Fuel for Mind and Body. Some of the lessons learned include:

  • The Charlie Cart provides a fun way for young folks to become engaged in and to learn about healthy eating.
  • Combine stories and literacy with cooking programming. Weave stories into public space and you promote the library, promote reading, and also promote fun, active engagement in cooking!

Did you know that Let’s Move in Libraries wants to share your story? Go to our Let’s Move Stories page and scroll down at the bottom to share your experiences and lessons learned.

Future directions for Let’s Move in Libraries in 2021

In December 2020, our Advisory Board met to discuss future directions for Let’s Move in Libraries during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In future months we will continue to highlight program ideas that do not require people to gather physically together. Look for resources on the following in future newsletters:

  • Creating a Library of Things and Pass Collection to promote healthy living (e.g. Park passes, check out snowshoes)
  • Citizen Science and healthy living (e.g. Great Backyard Bird Count)
  • StoryWalk partnerships (e.g. Library, school partner to create StoryWalk for students)
  • Promoting gardening during the pandemic (including for those who lack a backyard)
  • Weaving socio-emotional health into programming focused on physical health (libraries for the whole person)

We have a lot more exciting things planned for this year! Stay tuned for more!

About Let’s Move in Libraries!

In our June 2020 newsletter, we announced a permanent expansion in the scope of Let’s Move in Libraries. Our project was inspired by Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, which focused on supporting Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) among Americans.

Let us know if there are other innovative things you’re doing that we haven’t featured! We want to shine a light on all the ways librarians are getting the word out on the power of movement and healthy living in library programming. You are always invited to reach out and share with us. Please also reminder to share with us any news on programs you may be offering. We always love hearing from you! 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 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. Also follow the project on Facebook 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 physical activity.