Welcome to the October 2019 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries. This edition highlights: upcoming free webinars, including one from the American Library Association and one from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, a request for input, and news from our supporters and partners.

From left, Sheri Benson, a member of the Newton Wellness Coalition, and Phyllis Peter, youth services librarian at the Newton Public Library, hold signs from a past StoryWalk(R). The library is working with local businesses and organizations to introduce a permanent StoryWalk at Agnes Patterson Park in Newton, Iowa. Image courtesy: Christopher Braunschweig/Newton Daily News.

This month’s featured image comes the Newton Public Library in Newton, Iowa. There, youth services librarian Phyllis Peter has been working with partners in her community to create a permanent StoryWalk(R) installation at a local park. It takes a community to get us reading and moving! In Newton, community partners include: Parks and Recreation, a Wellness Coalition, local businesses and more! See the full coverage in a story from the Newton Daily News entitled Walkin’ & Readin’.

You can learn how to get YOUR community walking and reading on November 13, during a free webinar sponsored by the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office. Librarians from Charlotte, North Carolina, and Elgin, Illinois, will join Let’s Move in Libraries in this free hour-long learning opportunity that highlights both StoryWalk(R) and Walking Book Club programming. Sign up now!

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 Iowa, and beyond! Also sign up for our free monthly newsletter, and share this edition with your co-workers, friends, and even family members!

Free continuing education from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine

October is Health Literacy month! That makes it the perfect time to try to new things to support healthy living both among your library staff and in your community. In fact, our research shows that healthy library staff tend to be the library staff who champion health programming. Don’t take our word for it!

Steven V. Potter, CEO and Library Director, Mid-Continent Public Library, states that health among library staff and health among library patrons go hand-in-hand.

During a recent (September 18) webinar on Wellness Works! The Importance of a Healthy Workplace for Healthy and Happy Library Staff sponsored by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), Steven V. Potter, CEO and Library Director, Mid-Continent Public Library in the Kansas City, Missouri, Metro Area, stated that “[We have] found that when we consider healthy options for the public the staff benefits, and healthy staff options create a better experience for the public.” Watch the full webinar to see great examples of how you this principle gets put into action at this library.

Then, on October 3, learn about a powerful idea from the field of public health that will help you take your library’s programming to the next level. The NNLM is sponsoring a free one-hour webinar on “How to Develop Healthy Living Programs through Shared Use Partnerships.” There’s still time to sign up! Join us to learn about this important topic. Shared use occurs when government entities or other organizations agree to open their facilities for use by the broader community. Although not typically described as such, this type of activity increasingly occurs in libraries throughout the country, and beyond. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2017) reports that at the public library in Monterey Park, California, “line dance leader Kit Cheung teaches her class in an unlikely place —the parking lot of a local library.” Librarians increasingly “share” their spaces in this way. Another common example is summer meal programs, where libraries serve as meal sites, but not typically meal program sponsors. This webinar gives you the information you need to bring shared use partnerships to your library. We’ll go over how to reach out to potential partners, how to develop memorandums of understanding, how to work through perceptions of legal liability, and how to institutionalize shared use agreements. The focus will be on shared use agreements to increase healthy living practices, particularly around Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL). Sign up now!

How are we doing? Let us know!!!

We are getting ready for the Fall 2019 meetings of our Advisory Board. Now is the perfect time to let us know how we are doing! Share your feedback, the good, the bad, and the ugly, so that we can accelerate our efforts to support public libraries. If you’re getting this newsletter through email, just click “reply” to share your thoughts. Your comments will hep inform the advisory board agenda. We need your input!

Did you miss the call to join us in 2019-2020? An invitation will go out in a Spring 2020 newsletter to join us for 2020-2022. Sign up for the newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out!

Use the Let’s Move in Libraries logo: A free resource!

Did you know that our logo is completely, 100% free to use? It’s true! You can download it and get started here. If you have any questions, just reach out to us! All that we ask is that you share back how you use the logo: Banners, T-Shirts, Flyers, Decals, Bumper Stickers, Coasters, the sky is the limit!

The most recent entity to adopt the logo is Geri-Fit, LLC, a national company focused on increasing access to physical fitness among older adults. Thanks for including our logo! Go to their website to learn more about what they offer to libraries, and then consider applying for WalMart’s Local Community Grants to bring Geri-Fit to your library.

News from Let’s Move in Libraries partners and supporters

Nicole Miller speaks on Fun & Fitness at the Library during the 2019 meeting of the Minnesota Library Association.

On September 20 Let’s Move in Libraries advisory board member, Nicole Miller, who is the Director of the Cannon Falls Library and a certified group fitness instructor, led a session on Fun & Fitness at Your Library at the Minnesota Library Association’s annual conference: With information from Let’s Move in Libraries, Cannon Falls Library launched a weekly fitness program in the fall of 2018 to fill the gap in it’s community’s needs for accessible and free or affordable fitness opportunities. Nicole Miller will talk about the pitfalls, lessons, and triumphs of finding affordable instructors, getting certified in group fitness instruction, and developing weekly and fresh classes to build a devoted group of regular attendees in her Fit Fridays programs. As you can see, Nicole was even able to persuade the library board to fund her group fitness certification so that she could lead these classes at no cost to the library. Way to go, Nicole! Here’s another great example of staff wellness and healthy programming coming together!

At the same conference in Minnesota, staff from the Augsburg University’s Lindell Library shared the story of how their library started checking out bicycles!!! “Augsburg University’s Lindell Library became home to a flock of superheroes last year, superhero bicycles, that is. Augsburg Day Student Government bought 14 bicycles, 9 helmets, and 5 Metro Transit bus cards, all for checkout to Augsburg students at the library. It was up to us librarians to figure out how to catalog, process, maintain, and check out these new items. We classified the bikes with superhero names in alphabetical order (Ant-Man to Nightwing), created detailed OCLC catalog records and local holdings records in WMS, figured out checkout policies, trained student Circulation workers, marketed the program with LibGuide pages, and schlepped the bikes to a nearby repair shop when necessary. We also weathered some major setbacks, like villainous bike thieves, and learned some lessons that we are happy to pass on to other libraries. Bottom line: Bike- and transit-share is a popular program that is worth the effort.” These librarians shared their slides on the Minnesota Library Association’s website, so that you can get the information you need to start checking out bikes at your library. Check it out and consider developing your own fleet of superhero bicycles available for checkout at the library!


More generally, 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!

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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.