Welcome to the June 2021 edition of the Let’s Move in Libraries newsletter. This month’s featured image comes from Georgia’s DeKalb County Public Library, where on April 23, 2021, ground was broken on the system’s first edible garden. Roots Down GA has “partnered with DeKalb County to completely overhaul the landscaping at 6 library pilots.”

Their goal is to spread this model, which includes educational programming, to all 23 county libraries. Once finished, the Edible Library will transform areas around libraries into public greenspaces and vegetable gardens surrounded by fruit trees that the community can enjoy for years to come.

Does this concept peak your interest? We invite you to take a look at our Gardening Program Page to get started. We also recommend OCLC/WebJunction’s amazing resource page.

Also consider this upcoming learning opportunity. Gardening at the library is all about partnerships, and the non-profit American Horticultural Society is very interested in supporting librarians! Their National Children & Youth Garden Symposium (NCYGS) has for nearly 30 years been cultivating gardeners by energizing, inspiring, and training garden educators. The conference will take place as a virtual event instead of an in-person convening on July 7-9, 2021. The professional development content will be offered as a collection of live and pre-recorded webinars with nearly forty peer-led lectures and workshops viewable on demand. The content will be accessible on their website after the event ends for those unable to attend live. The theme of the 2021 NCYGS is youth empowerment and speakers will give educators, including librarians, both the inspiration and the tools they need to discover and nurture the passion within a child and create the space and support for a child to pursue that passion. Registration is available now.

The American Horticultural Society also shared with us another resource! Since 2005, they’ve given an annual award for Growing Good Kids, Excellence in Children’s Literature Book Awards winners. Take a look at past winners! All of these are excellent titles for your library’s next StoryWalk(R)!!

New stories from our readers

Let’s Move in Libraries exists to share stories of public libraries successfully supporting healthy living through programs and partnerships. Our readers have recently shared some amazing stories from their communities. Take a look and consider sharing YOUR healthy living at the library story with us.

  1. Outdoor learning with the library in Illinois
  2. Health and wellness for all at an Alberta library
  3. A new exploration garden at the library in Indiana
  4. A mindfulness walk at the library in Delaware
  5. Engaging StoryWalk(R) programming in Pennsylvania

How public libraries are part of the solution to food insecurity

On May 20, 2021, we c0-hosted an online conversation on “How Public Libraries are part of the solution to food insecurity” featuring Erica Freudenberger, co-founder of Fresh Food Collective Farm-2-Library initiative; Aurora Sanchez, Coordinator of the Healthy Communities program at the Free Library of Philadelphia; Patrice Chamberlain co-founder of the California Library Association’s Lunch at the Library; and Leighan Cazier of the Richland Library in Columbia (SC), which has farmer’s markets at branches throughout the system.

If you missed the event, the full recording, as well as event transcript are available online. You can also download the slides. Take a look and share your experience working with community partners to combat food insecurity!

More stories of public libraries working to address food insecurity

With the support of the Collaborative Summer Library Program, Let’s Move in Libraries has re-published a selection of stories of public libraries working to address food insecurity that they have published in their newsletter.

Take a look at the collection, which covers everything from Little Free Pantries to summer meals and beyond.

New free resources from Curious City

Portland, Maine’s Curious City recently worked with a yoga instructor to create a complete movement and mindfulness activity based around the picture book BE A TREE! There is movement for each spread of the book. Take a look on their webpage. In addition, there are ideas there from a public librarian and environmental educator for an outdoor story time program!

In addition, thanks to a partnership involving Curious City, Banacom Signs, Barking Dog Exhibits, publisher Child’s Play(R), and Let’s Move in Libraries, you can now download Big Dance by Aoife Greenham. This file contains 16 individual high resolution PDF’s. The publisher Child’s Play has waived the need for individual permission. You are NOT violating copyright by using this signage. This printable StoryWalk(R) can be displayed for five years. Get started at Curious City, where you can preview the book before downloading it.

Any book your library owns can be turned into a StoryWalk(R), but this partnership means that you don’t need to take apart a book to make the walk. Just download the files, laminate them, post them, and you have a StoryWalk(R)! Learn more about the StoryWalk(R) movement at our Program Page.

We are also thrilled to share that we are teaming up with the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services for the first ever StoryWalk(R) Week! Learn more on our StoryWalk(R) resource page. The event will occur November 15-19 and in a future Let’s Move in Libraries newsletter we’ll be asking you to feature your StoryWalk(R) story as part of this celebration.

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. You can also share your story using this structured form. 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.