Welcome to the June 2019 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries. This edition highlights the release of: 1) a new publication on walking programs in libraries, 2) a new resource to help you form and sustain community partnerships; 3) a new article on libraries teaming up with parks and recreation departments; and 4) a new webinar on how to start yoga and meditation programs. Finally, we feature a few examples of how public libraries weave physical activity into summer programming.

Summer Reading Kickoff Party in Pooler, Georgia

This month’s featured image comes the Pooler Branch of the Live Oak Public Library, based in Savannah, Georgia. There, “Young Jedi took up their lightsabers on Saturday morning,” June 1, at the library’s kickoff party. A local reporter showed up to cover the action, writing “this year’s theme, ‘A Universe of Stories,’ points toward the final frontier, space. Pooler Library was decked out with space and ‘Star Wars’ themed activities for the kickoff party, including a Lego building table, a Death Star bean bag toss, a Nerf gun stormtrooper shootout, pool noodle lightsabers and, most notably, Chewbacca.” We love seeing more and more libraries weave fun physical activity into Summer at the 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!

Let’s get walking at (and around) the library!

We just released a new publication on how public libraries get us walking! “Public Libraries and Walkable Neighborhoods” was published in a special issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health focused on Physical Activity and Health. This article highlights how libraries get us walking at (and around) the library through a) StoryWalks(r), b) heritage/local history walking tours, c) walking book clubs, d) walking and hiking programs, and e) through community partnerships focused on increasing walking and the walkability of our neighborhoods. Take a look at this free publication to hear all about how librarians across North America are developing ingenious ways to increase walking! We’d love your feedback! Let us know how you get your community walking!

Partnering to Offer Exercise Activities for Older Adults

Our collaboration 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. Bringing free physical activities for older adults to libraries typically depends on librarians working within their community with everyone from senior centers to individual instructors. This toolkit is designed to help you and your partners develop programs that meet everyone’s needs, and increase access to lifelong experiential learning around exercise, fitness, balance, and physical activity. Read on and let us know what you think!

Partnering with Parks & Recreation Departments

A growing number public libraries are working with their Parks & Recreation departments to support healthy play, fitness, and access to nature. We teamed up with GreenPlay, LLC — a consortium of experts focused on supporting park, recreation, open space, and related agencies — to write an article for their Spring 2019 newsletter on how to form programming partnerships between parks & recreation departments and public libraries. The hope is that this article and related initiatives will pave the way for more robust coordination and collaboration between these two vitally important institutions. How do you work with your parks & recreation departments? Let us know!

Jenn Carson explains how to start yoga and meditation programs

Earlier this month, library director Jenn Carson led a free webinar on how to start yoga and meditation programs in libraries. This webinar was sponsored by the American Library Association’s Booklist magazine and had over 1,500 people registered! If you missed this amazing learning opportunity, not to worry. You can watch the webinar and you can download the webinar slides to get the information you need to bring these programs to your library.

Let’s get moving this Summer!

We have been thrilled to see tons of physical activity taking place this summer in public libraries. Here are just a few examples that we find especially inspiring. What are you doing to get your community moving this summer? Let us know!!

In Wisconsin, “The La Crosse Public Library dares kids to make this the best summer yet!” The library’s “dares” include fun library challenges focused on reading, learning, creating, exercising, and volunteering. “This summer, the La Crosse Public Library is hoping to not only get books into children’s hands, but to get their bodies moving and the experiences flowing.”

In Pennsylvania, a “Countywide reading and exercise program kicks off for the summer.” Lebanon County Library encourages you to “Get Outdoors Lebanon and Explore the Universe!

In Colorado, “Cañon City Public Library presented ‘Summer Soak Down!’” “Bring your own soak-er and towel; water will be provided, be prepared to get wet.”

In Texas, “Tyler Public Library is bringing the summer fun for kids of all ages.” “A pack of rabid zombies invaded the Tyler Public Library and all that stood in their way was an army of children with nerf guns.”

In Louisiana, “the Lafayette Public Library’s kickoff to the 2019 summer reading program” was organized in conjunction with a free bike safety event, with the first 300 attendees “receiving a free bike helmet.”

In Ohio, the Akron-Summit County Public Library’s “Summer program rewards reading and movement.” You get rewards for reading and you get rewards for moving. Let’s do both this Summer!

How are you getting people moving this summer at your library? Let us know!

Update on 2019-2021 Let’s Move in Libraries Advisory Board

Thank you so much to everyone who expressed interest in joining us for the 2019-2021 Let’s Move in Libraries Advisory Board. At this point we have all the board members that we need. Did you miss the call to join us? There will be another opportunity in Spring 2021. Until then, if you want to get more involved in Let’s Move in Libraries, there are LOTS of opportunities. Propose a session at your state or provincial library conference, organize a regional group of librarians who want to get their communities moving, share what has worked (and what has not worked) at your library. Ask us a question. Get involved! We’d love to have your participation however you’re able to do so. Send us a message to get started!

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.