October 2020 NEWSLETTER

Welcome to the October 2020 edition of the Let’s Move in Libraries newsletter. This month we highlight:

Share your story! Did you know that in May 2020 we created a new platform for public librarians to share how they promote healthy living at the library? We’re still building this new part of the website, and we need you to help us out. If you have done something new at your library, we invite you to try it out and share your story! Click here to start. We’ve created a short form to help you.
To inspire you, this month’s featured images come from Ringtown, Pennsylvania, where during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order in Pennsylvania, the Ringtown Area Library started monthly scavenger hunts around the community, relating to a children’s story when possible (green sheep for Mem Fox’s Where is the Green Sheep? and strawberries for Don Wood’s The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear.) The library began offering StoryWalk(R) programming during summer 2020, and in September 2020 unveiled the 4th StoryWalk(R) of the year at a local farm’s pumpkin patch (pictured here), choosing Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas. This program, like so many healthy living programs, involves librarians partnering and working with their communities to create new things! Share your story and take a look at other stories librarians have shared!

Resources for Walking Programs

Join OCLC/WebJunction and over 800 registered librarians for free One Step at a Time: How Libraries Can Promote Healthy, Thriving, and Livable Communities webinar on October 22 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. During COVID-19 stay at home orders, improvements to air and water quality around the globe showed how changing our transportation practices could benefit the environment. We also know that physical activities, like walking, can help prevent chronic diseases and promote health. This webinar will highlight the multiple benefits of walking and walkable communities. Learn how to advocate for safe walking routes to your libraries, how to partner with parks and recreation, local transportation departments, and others committed to building safe, accessible, equitable places to walk and move.

Then take things to the next level with Community change grants available now from America Walks. America Walks, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit national organization, is leading the way in advancing safe, equitable, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk and move by giving people and communities the resources to effectively advocate for change. Their Community Change Grants program works to provide support to the growing network of advocates, organizations, and agencies using innovative, engaging, and inclusive programs and projects to create change at the community level. Applications typically open in the fall and grants are awarded for the full calendar year following. The number of grants awarded varies each year dependent upon funds available. Applications are open until November 9, 2020.

Learn more about how America Walks and libraries come together on their website. They have funded library programs in High Point, North Carolina, and Little Rock, Arkansas, and may fund your idea too! In High Point, America Walks enabled the library to create an urban hikes walking challenge during the COVID-19 Pandemic and in Little Rock they funded a StoryWalk(R) at one of the Central Arkansas Library System’s branches.

Sign up for the webinar and join us in this important conversation about how libraries and walking can come together!

Move Your Way with West Virginia libraries

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, mountain, child, sky, bridge, outdoor, nature and waterLet’s Move in Libraries Advisory Board Member Austin Persinger teamed up with Active Southern West Virginia (Active SWV) to bring the national Move Your Way campaign to the Summers County Public Library. Learn more here.
Slated to run for six weeks, the program will help local communities learn what steps they need to take to begin an active and healthy lifestyle.

For most adult Americans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends no less than 150 minutes of physical activity a week. The purpose of the Move Your Way campaign is to encourage individuals to reach those 150 minutes in their own way. Whether it be mowing the lawn, shopping for groceries, or folding laundry, everyday tasks can help you get moving toward a better, healthier life.

Children, on the other hand, need to get no less than 60 minutes of activity a day. They can do this by running, walking the dog, or any other slew of things indoors and outdoors. Whole families can get involved through the ASWV Virtual Kid’s Fun Fall Challenge or by taking part in the ongoing WV Strong Fall Running Challenge.

For additional resources, visit the Summers County Public Library between now and October 15th for health related articles, books, and information. Just a reminder: Audiobooks are fun to “read” while working out and available for free from West Virginia Reads https://wvreads.overdrive.com/.

Visit the Summers County Library Facebook page to learn more about the partnership. Every library in the state of West Virginia is invited to partner in this educational campaign and the virtual activity challenge. Contact info@activeswv.com to become a library partner.

Who could you work with to start this partnership in your state or community? Check out the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Move Your Way webpage to learn more.

Feeding the community during the pandemic

Photo courtesy Chester Public Library in New York State. One of thousands of public libraries across North America that help address food insecurity during COVID-19. 

Photo courtesy Chester Public Library in New York State. One of thousands of public libraries across North America that help address food insecurity during COVID-19.

Let’s Move in Libraries Director Noah Lenstra recently shared with the non-profit Shareable about some of the ways libraries have been feeding their communities during the pandemic. Take a look and get some inspiration! Many libraries work with food banks to ensure that those most vulnerable have access to the resources they need. The library includes spotlights on the work of many libraries, as well as entities like the Collaborative Summer Library Program, California’s Lunch at the Library initiative, and Ohio’s Team Vittles. Take a look and get the inspiration you need!

We also asked our Advisory Board how they have been feeding their communities by harnessing community partnerships. Here are a few of things our members shared:
Deborah Dutcher, Youth and Adult Services Coordinator, for the New Hampshire State Library, shared “I know for some communities the USDA extension has been positive.” You can now serve free summer meals through this partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the end of December 2020. Many libraries have already taken advantage of this opportunity and  librarians can also inform themselves about where free food distribution points are in their communities in order to share that information with patrons. Learn more on the USDA website.

Harvest Box at Laconia Library | Announcements | laconiadailysun.comKayleigh Thomas, Assistant Librarian of New Hampshire’s Gilford Public Library shared “We do have a Harvest Box. The Partnership for Public Health NH has sponsored a harvest box that they fill with vegetables and produce from local farms, that is free for anyone to take. The box and the partnership work great because it lets people see the area farms, try new vegetables, and help farms get rid of any extra or unused produce they may have. We have had the box in years past, and we used to allow people to leave their own produce, but we’ve cut back on that and just take donations from farms now. How it works is someone from PPHNH drops off the box and produce in the morning and then picks it up later that evening or the next morning, which means patrons have all day to grab items. We do stress that everything is take at your own risk, but we haven’t run into any issues so far.”

Kate Oland, Branch Manager, Baddeck Public Library Baddeck, Nova Scotia, shares “My library branch is also on the verge of having a food-related service for the community, thanks to funding from our Community Health Board. We are installing a Community Cupboard and stocking it with basic food items (and possibly toiletries, feminine hygiene products, and school supplies). The food bank in our rural area only operates twice a month – so this cupboard is intended to fill gaps for people and foster community sharing. People will be able to donate items as well as take them, and there won’t be any sort of means testing. We already have a ‘free bin’ that folks take things from (magazines and other items people don’t want), so I’m hoping people will feel welcomed to use the cupboard as they need to.”

How are you helping feed your community? Let us know and inspire others by sharing your story!!

Additional resources for programming at your library

Did you know our logo is free to use? It’s true! We just ask that you share back what you do with it. We want to thank Atlanta’s Fulton County Library System for using our logo in their online virtual programming. Every week the Fulton County Library System offers online Let’s Move in Libraries programs, and to support this important work, the library system has purchased t-shirts and signage that library staff can use for this programming. You can check out the Fulton County Library System’s Let’s Move in Libraries programming on their Facebook channel to learn more about their efforts, and to get inspired to try something new with the Let’s Move in Libraries logo at your library.

We’d love to thank the Fulton County Library System for continuing to offer great virtual programming during COVID-19. Advisory Board Member Christy Dyson reports that “We’re off and running with are Virtual Library Programming in the Fulton County Library System. We have several segments every day: Streaming story time, Fitness Tuesday (Let’s Move in Libraries), DIY Wednesday, Kitchen Chemistry for adults and teens as well as Zoom book clubs, books breaks and book reviews. I’m especially excited about Fitness Tuesday this allows us to use the let’s move platform extensively!”

Bring the logo to your library by downloading our logo and add it to your promotional materials. Just let us know how you use it! The easiest way is to tag us on social media.

We are also pleased to share that Healthy Living at the Library was published in Summer 2020. Take a look at the table of contents and consider adding this title to your library’s continuing education and development collection.

During the October 2019 meetings of our Advisory Groups, we decided to re-launch our online group on Facebook. We invite you to join the 100+ librarians already in the group. This is YOUR SPACE to ask questions, get advice, share successes and challenges, and generally get the support you need to make a difference in your community. Consider joining us, and if you have a question about chair-based, StoryWalk(r), or gardening, or any other program that includes movement and physical activity, go ahead and ask it in this group!

Before the COVID-19 Pandemic, we had been featuring a different program idea each month, including music and movement, hands-on gardening, chair-based exercises, and StoryWalk(R). Check these out! We’ll be back with more featured programs in future newsletters, many of them focused on healthy eating! Please reach out with ideas for future featured programs at any point.

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. Mrs. Obama worked to increase physical activity and nutrition through museums, with the support of the U.S. Institute of Museum & Library Services. We now align Let’s Move in Libraries even closer to Mrs. Obama’s original vision by supporting both physical activity and food based programming and partnerships in public libraries. More information on this expansion and the ideas behind it can be found in our revised About Page. We would love your feedback at any point!

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 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.