This is the September 2017 edition of the Let’s Move in Libraries project newsletter. The Let’s Move in Libraries project is focused on understanding how public libraries create opportunities for individuals of all ages and abilities to move and to be physically active.
On August 16, 2017, librarians Jenn Carson and Gwen Geiger-Wolfe shared best practices in movement-based programs from their libraries (Lawrence [Kansas] Public Library) and (L.P. Fisher Public Library, Woodstock, New Brunswick). Approximately 60 librarians participated in this action-packed, free webinar. If you missed it, you can watch the recording or download the slides.
The next webinar will be held on November 8, 2017, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. This webinar is free and open to all. Josh Berk (Bethlehem [PA] Public Library) and Rick Samuelson(Henrico County Public Library) will discuss how their libraries circulate objects like bicycles and nature backpacks to encourage active, outdoor lifestyles. Attend to learn how your library can utilize the “library of things” concept to impact physical activity. For more information or to register, click here.
On September 7, 2017, I led a presentation called “Public Libraries Impact Physical Fitness” at the annual conference of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) in St. George, Utah. Approximately 47 librarians participated in this session. You can download the slides and presentation handout, focused on movement-based programs in small and rural libraries. Many participants expressed interest in learning how other libraries handle liability concerns related to these types of programs. To respond to this need, I have gathered together some examples of liability waivers and hold harmless forms used by public libraries that offer movement-based programs. If your library has a form that you use for these types of programs, please consider sending it to me. Your contribution will be added to this resource. Other speakers at discussed library gardens, seed libraries, partnering with parks, tai chi classes, library laser tag, and many other topics related to physical activity and libraries. Next year’s conference will be in Springfield, Illinois.
The first peer-reviewed publication resulting from the Spring 2017 Survey of North American movement-based programs is now available online: “Yoga at the Public Library: An Exploratory Survey of Canadian and American Librarians” has been published in the Journal of Library Administration. More results from the survey will be released shortly. Preliminary findings can be accessed in the recording of a webinar held June 7, 2017, on this topic.
Thanks once again to everyone who participated in constructing the Let’s Move in Libraries directory of public libraries in the U.S. and Canada that offer movement-based programs on a recurring basis (e.g. weekly, monthly, annually). Please continue to send updates on your programs! This map is an important testament to the creativity and impact of public librarians.
This Fall, UNCG graduate student Narcissa Haskins and I will be updating the streamlining the resources section of the website. Check back shortly for a major revision!
Finally, I wanted to highlight some recently published resources that may help you develop new movement-based programs in your libraries. Jenn Carson published a blog post on holding family dance parties in libraries, Hanako Maki wrote about library-led walking tours, Carrie Smith wrote about book bikes: bicycle-based outreach programs, and I wrote about senior fitness programs in the library. Add your story and ask questions in the project Facebook group. Please also send news articles related to your library’s programs. These stories are important to share and to collect!