Welcome to the July 2019 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries. This edition highlights: 1) media coverage of libraries participating in bike sharing initiatives, 2) new publications on nature smart libraries, 3) connecting libraries and recreation agencies to support exercise among older adults, and 4) an upcoming online conference focused on healthy living in libraries.

Ohio’s Lorain Public Library System recently launched the Go Lorain Bike Share program.

This month’s featured image comes the Lorain Public Library System in Ohio, where the library recently launched the Go Lorain Bike Share program, a collaboration with Lorain County Public Health, the Lorain County Metro Parks and the Lorain County Community Action Agency, on May 18, 2019. The launch of this new library-based bike share program sparked national media attention of this surging trend, including articles in Bicycle Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, and American Libraries Direct. We are thrilled to see this trend finally get the attention it deserves, as we’ve been documenting the spread of this idea for a few years. The Falls River Library in Massachusetts also recently launched a bike share program and Assistant Library Administrator Kathryn Kulpa told a reporter: “A lot of libraries are going with non-traditional things. We have computer classes, we have a D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) club, and now we have bikes.” Want to bring this program to your library? We recommend BookaBike: Increasing Access to Physical Activity with a Library Card published in Audio Recorders to Zucchini Seeds: Building a Library of Things, and written by James Hill of the Athens County Library in Ohio, one of the longest continually run library bike share programs in the country. Check and out, make some community partnerships, and bring this to your library!

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!

The Growth of Nature Smart Libraries

We have started a new partnership 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.” Let’s Move in Libraries founder Noah Lenstra wrote a blog post on libraries that offer StoryWalk(r), gardening, and other active, outdoor programming entitled “Thinking Outside of the Stacks: The Growth of Nature Smart Libraries.” This prompted author Richard Louv to refresh an article that he wrote in 2015 entitled “The Essential Role of Libraries in Creating Nature-Rich Communities.” The new edition of this article is now available online. We will continue to work with the Children & Nature Network, including leading a conference call on growing nature smart libraries on September 18. If you’d like to get involved in the Nature Smart Libraries movement, reach out to Monica Lopez Magee, Director of the Cities and Nature initiative of the Children & Nature Network.

In addition to this new partnership, we also published a new blog post on librarians teaming up with scouts to establish permanent StoryWalk installations. Take a look and bring this program/partnership to your community!

Libraries and Parks work together to Offer Exercise Activities for Older Adults

As you may know, for the past two years Let’s Move in Libraries has worked with the National Institute on Aging’s Go4Life initiative has resulted in a new toolkit put out by Go4Life entitled “Partnering with Public Libraries to Offer Exercise Activities for Older Adults.” This toolkit distills the experiences of public librarians from across the U.S. and Canada into an action-able framework that you can use in your community to form and sustain community partnerships.

As a result of the release of this new toolkit, we have been asked to speak to administrators of Recreation and Park organizations across the United States about this topic. The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is a National non-profit with over 60,000 members. One of their initiatives is called the Healthy Aging in Parks initiative, and through that initiative the NRPA provides training grants to local communities for to three CDC approved physical activity programs, Walk with Ease, Active Living Every Day and Fit & Strong! According to Colleen Pittard of the NRPA, “One very important subject is partnering with other like minded community partners and I have been hearing more and more of our agencies talking about partnering with their local libraries.” On Tuesday, July 16, Let’s Move in Libraries director Noah Lenstra will speak to these grantees to help them figure out how best to work with public libraries to increase exercise opportunities among older adults. This is an exciting new partnership, and we will keep you informed as it develops!

Online conference on Healthy Living at the Library

Mark your calendars for October 10, 2019! On that date, Amigos Library Services will host an online conference on the topic of Healthy Habits: Cultivating a Culture of Health and Wellness in Libraries and Communities. Advisory Board member Jenn Carson will be the keynote speaker! They are seeking additional presenters, so if you’re doing something innovative at your library to support healthy living, consider sharing! The Call for Proposals can be accessed here.

We have been thrilled to see tons of physical activity taking place this summer in public libraries. What are you doing to get your community moving this summer? 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!

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.