Welcome to the September 2019 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries. This edition highlights: a new podcast on active living in libraries, upcoming continuing education opportunities, new resources for Go4Life month programming, an update on our research on how and why libraries get us moving, and the announcement of our 2019-2020 Advisory Board.

Let’s Move in Libraries Advisory Board Members Christy Dyson and Michelle Bennett-Copeland took Let’s Move in Libraries banner and t-shirts to Dragon Con, which attracts over 80,000 in Atlanta, Georgia, on August 30, 2019. Photo via Fulton County Library System.

This month’s featured image comes the Fulton County Library System in Atlanta, Georgia, where two of our Advisory Board members work: Michelle Bennett-Copeland & Christy Dyson. These librarians created a Let’s Move in Libraries banner (which earlier this year they shared with the Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms). More recently, they created Let’s Move in Libraries T-Shirts! Here they are on August 30, 2019, representing the Fulton County Library System at a Dragon Con Party on August 30, 2019. Dragon Con attracts over 80,000 people every year. See more about this event on the library’s social media. You can learn more about Let’s Move in Libraries at the Fulton County Library System in Stories of libraries that move. Check it out and then contact us with your story. We’d love to feature your library!

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!

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

Listen to how we move in libraries

Earlier this Summer, Let’s Move in Libraries director Noah Lenstra had the opportunity to talk with Richard Monette, the editor-in-chief of Active for Life, a Canadian not-for-profit organization focused on increasing physical literacy among young people. That conversation was recorded, and has now been released as the latest installment of the Active for Life podcast series. Give the podcast a listen and share it with your co-workers, friends, and anyone who you think may be interested in learning more about how libraries support active living. In the podcast, Lenstra shares the message that “to really get people moving, it’s not enough for one institution to be responsible for it. It has to be a distributed effort in which different institutions come together to make a difference.” This idea is illustrated through the stories of librarians like Lisa Weekes and Jenn Carson, both of whom serve on the Let’s Move in Libraries Advisory board. In Alberta and New Brunswick, they’ve found that the best way to support active living is by teaming up with others in the community interested in sports, recreation, fitness, health, and wellness.

Active for Life support physical literacy in libraries! Their Community Toolkit states that “It takes a village to raise kids who love to move and have the skills to be active for life. This toolkit will be helpful anywhere children are active at the local level: recreation centres, community associations, local health and wellness groups, even libraries.” Check them out, and, particularly if you are in Canada, let them know that you’re interested in working with them to support active communities.

Upcoming continuing education opportunities

There are so many opportunities coming up to learn about physical activity promotion in public libraries!! We know of at least five in the next month. Did we miss one? Let us know! Also, if you’re doing a session at an upcoming conference, a webinar, or even if you just publish a blog post, we’d love to hear from you! Share what you’re doing to help other librarians support physical activity!

Healthy Habits – Cultivating a Culture of Health and Wellness in Libraries and Communities

Healthy Habits – Cultivating a Culture of Health and Wellness in Libraries and Communities

On October 10, 2019, Amigos Library Services is hosting an online, one-day conference on the topic of healthy habits and how we can support them both among library staff and in the communities they serve. The keynote speaker is Jenn Carson, MSLIS, CYT, CCYT, an internationally recognized expert in physical literacy, the director of the L.P. Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada, and a member of our Advisory Board. We’d also like to congratulate Jenn for the extremely positive review of her new book Yoga and Meditation at the Library: A Practical Guide for Librarians in Booklist.

The conference also features Noah Lenstra talking about how Bikes + Libraries = Healthy Communities, Erica Freudenberger talking about how to Feed All the People: The Farm-2-Library Food Initiative, Christina Pryor and Bobbi Newman (another member of our Advisory Board!) talking about Wellness in the Library Workplace, Heidi Eckerson talking about a Movement-Based Book Club offered at the public library in Ithaca (NY), Dawn Wilbert talking about Growing Healthy Heroes: A Health and Literacy Summer Program for Our Community in Texas, and Aurora Sanchez talking about “Healthy Communities, a partnership that began in 2018 between the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Center and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Get Healthy Philly initiative. This partnership increases the library’s capacity to offer free health and wellness workshops ranging from African-diaspora inspired cooking to strength training to gardening.” It will be an amazing day you don’t want to miss! The event is completely free for libraries that are members of Amigos Library Services, $45 for library school students, and $129 for everyone else. Go to the conference website to learn more and to sign up!

How to Develop Healthy Living Programs through Shared Use Partnerships (FREE!)

On October 3, Noah Lenstra will lead a free one-hour webinar for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) on the topic of How to Develop Healthy Living Programs through Shared Use Partnerships. 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 to get the information you need to bring this revolutionary idea to your library! This webinar counts for one continuing education credit hour through the Medical Library Association.

I like to Move it, Move it! Let’s Move in Libraries initiative

Two of our Advisory Board members — Heidi Whelan and Danielle Fortin — are presenting on the Let’s Move in Libraries initiative at the annual conference of the Maine Library Association on September 30. Program Description  – “Let’s Move in Libraries” is an international initiative designed to create healthy communities by inspiring movement-based activities in all ages and abilities. Public libraries can positively impact health through StoryWalks®, Yoga classes, gardens, the circulation of fitness equipment, and much, much more. The “Let’s Move in Libraries” project receives its inspiration from Former First Lady, Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, which from 2010 to 2017 focused on increasing physical activity and healthy living among Americans. Join Let’s Move in Libraries Advisory Board Members Heidi Whelan and Danielle Fortin as they share their experiences incorporating the Let’s Move initiative into their libraries.

Fun & Fitness at Your Library

Yet another advisory board member, Nicole Miller, who is the Director of the Cannon Falls Library and a certified group fitness instructor, will lead a session on Fun & Fitness at Your Library at the Minnesota Library Association’s annual conference on September 20. Program Description – 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.

Nature Smart Libraries Podcall

Finally, on September 18, Noah Lenstra will speak to members of the Nature Smart Libraries planning group about examples of library-community partnerships that lead to enhanced access to nature. If you’d like to join this call, and the Nature Smart Libraries movement, contact Monica Lopez Magee, Director of the Cities and Nature initiative at the Children & Nature Network. Learn more about this initiative at the website of the National League of Cities.

Celebrate Go4Life Month at your library!

September is Go4Life Month. Use these free evidence-based resources from the NIA for programs at your library.

According to the Nebraska City News-PressThe Morton-James Public Library continues to join public libraries nationwide in offering free strength training workouts for older adults.” Celebrate the fact that public libraries get older adults moving by joining in Go4Life Month, which occurs every September, and is sponsored by one of our partners, Go4Life: An initiative of the National Institute on Aging (NIA). They’ve made it easy to join in the festivities, which are organized around the theme of Get Motivated! Get Moving! Go4Life!

  • Check out the free online Go4Life Month Toolkit, with ideas for events and activities, social media messages, and more!
  • Help share and promote NIA’s NEW! Exercise Safety Videos for Adults 50+ during Go4Life Month. Through these videos, viewers will learn about selecting the right fitness shoes and clothes, staying safe while doing the 4 types of exercise, exercising safely in both hot and cold weather, exercising safely outdoors, and biking safely. You can use this videos for FREE exercise programs at your library.
  • RSVP to join AFAR, NIA, and Next Avenue, Thursday, September 26, from 2-3 p.m. ET, for the webinar Stronger, Longer: Muscle Mass and AgingResearcher Nathan LeBrasseur of Mayo Clinic and exercise physiologist Lyndon Joseph of the NIA will present the latest research on sarcopenia and exercise tips. Please share and promote this event during Go4Life Month
  • Inspire others to move more, be safe, and track their exercise progress. Share #Go4LifeMonth social media messages.
  • Give a presentation using the Speaker’s Toolkit.
  • And take a look at two new resources developed in collaboration with our partners: Walking Club Toolkit and Partner with Libraries Toolkit.

Also we want to give a shout out to Geri-Fit, LLC, another one of our partners. They have had a huge impact in terms of making exercise opportunities for older adults more accessible in small and rural communities! We are beginning to process the results of our Geri-Fit Virtual Fitness Study now. Look for full results in a forthcoming newsletter!

Update on our research

Our research on how and why public libraries support active living continues!! One of our new Advisory Board members, Sandy Mayer, Librarian at the Orange County Library System/Southwest Branch, in Orlando, Florida, worked with Noah Lenstra to submit a conference proposal to the Active Living Conference, the premier multi-disciplinary conference for sharing the latest research, policies, and practices that advance activity-friendly communities for everyone, which will take place in Orlando February 2-5. We’re hoping to share Let’s Move in Libraries at this venue.

Lenstra and collaborator Dr. Ellen L. Rubenstein will also be sharing results from the 2017 Let’s Move in Libraries Survey at the 2019 meeting of the Association for Library and Information Science Education on September 24. The poster The Three P’s: Public Libraries, Partnerships, and (Health and Wellness) Programs focused on what we learned from this data-set about the power of partnerships in enabling public libraries to offer active living programs.

Advisory Board for 2019-2020

Finally, we are thrilled to share the members of the Let’s Move in Libraries Advisory Board for 2019-2020. The members of of the Let’s Move in Libraries Advisory Board work in public libraries and library support agencies in Alberta, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Brunswick, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

We work in small towns and big cities. We include presidents of state library associations and recent grads of MLIS programs. We include librarians with certifications in Yoga, Zumba, and Personal Training, as well as Early Literacy experts who know who to get kids moving from a young age. We are Gardeners, CrossFitters, Roller Derby Players, Runners, Bicyclists, Hikers, and Walkers.

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!


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.