September 2020 NEWSLETTER

A community garden being set up at Onslow County Public Library in North Carolina in August 2020.

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

We’ve featured Gardening in the past as a Let’s Move in Libraries Program Idea, but given the focus on outdoor programming right now, it seems like an opportune time to feature it again. Fall is the perfect time to start working on community partnerships and infrastructure to get ready for a Spring growing season.
To inspire and inform your library gardening efforts, I recently highlighted gardening programs in libraries for the non-profit Shareable. Our focus in that article is on hands-on gardening, where community members take the lead to grow food at the library. What if you don’t have space for such a garden? What if others are already doing a lot of gardening in your community? Consider teaming up with existing efforts or using the resources of your library to promote the work others are doing to promote community gardening.

Teaching how to cook at the library

What do you do with your library garden’s bounty? Teach people how to prepare it safety by offering virtual cooking programs!
Charlie Cart
On September 17, Lyndsey Herron, pictured here using a Charlie Cart at her library, presents “Cooking Virtually: Culinary Literacy Programming Online” in the Network of the National Library of Medicine’s Kernel of Knowledge Series. Learn more about Lyndsey’s efforts at the South Carolina State Library’s Read Eat Grow website. We also recommend the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Guide.
If you don’t have a garden at your library, another great way to get food for culinary literacy programs is by partnering with your local food bank. During COVID-19, many libraries work with foods banks to distribute food to those in need.
How has your library supported culinary literacy and healthy eating during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Let us know! We’d love to feature you on our website, social media, and in a future newsletter.

Falls Prevention Awareness Week

Did you know that every September the U.S. celebrates Falls Prevention Awareness Week? Consider doing a virtual program this September to highlight this important issue. Programs that raise awareness of this issue could also help older adults improve their strength, coordination, and balance of aging adults.

Nicole Miller, Library Director of Minnesota’s Cannon Falls Library shares that she’s “planning to do a program in the parking lot with the ambulance department where I talk about factors that contribute to falling and how to fall safely (complete with demonstrations on mats), and the ambulance department will be there to answer questions for participants. This is something that libraries could conceivably do as a partnership, provided there’s someone with the expertise. I also talk about how better balance and strength are great fall preventatives” Nicole also recommends these videos about how to fall safely from Texas Woman’s University. Sharing these videos would be a way a library could participate in Falls Prevention Week even if the library can’t locate someone with appropriate expertise in balance and falls prevention.

Walking with the Library

Last month, America Walks published “Libraries: The New Engine of Community Engagement and Walkable Neighborhood Advocacy,” a blog post featuring some of the ways that public libraries work with partners to support walkable communities. Take a look and then sign up for the upcoming OCLC/WebJunction One Step at a Time: How Libraries Can Promote Healthy, Thriving, and Livable Communities to take place October 22. If you discover something that you’d like to try at your library, consider the America Walks Community Change Grants, which public libraries in Arkansas and North Carolina have previously won to support StoryWalk(R) and walking trail programs.
Let’s Move in Libraries want to promote all transportation modalities to and from libraries: walking, wheelchairs, bicycles, public transport, personal automobile. Learn more about this holistic mission at the Safe Routes Partnership, “a national nonprofit organization working to advance safe walking and rolling to and from schools and in everyday life, improving the health and well-being of people of all races, income levels, and abilities, and building healthy, thriving communities for everyone.”
Additional resources for walking programs:

How do you support walking and active outdoor activities in your community? Let us know! We’d love to feature you on social media, on our website, and in a forthcoming newsletter.


Play Streets Survey

With colleagues in public health from Baylor University and John Hopkins University, we are researching the preparedness of Public Libraries to work as Support Agencies for Play Streets Programs. Play Streets programs are defined as “temporary closure of streets, that for a specified time period (around 3-5 hours) create a safe, publicly accessible space for children, adolescents, and/or their families to engage in active play.”
To that end, we’ve prepared a one page, 10 question survey that we are asking public libraries, specifically from small towns and rural America, to fill out. The survey will be open until Friday, September 25, and the results will be publicly shared at the 2020 meeting of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) on Thursday, October 1 at 12:15–1:15 CT in the session “How to Host Play Streets at the Library.” After the conference, the results will be publicly shared on the Let’s Move in Libraries website.
Go here to start the survey. Go here to sign up for the 2020 ARSL Conference. Thanks for your time!

Book Bike week 2020

During August, The Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS) highlighted and celebrated bicycle-based outreach services in libraries across North America. Check out their Facebook page to see the dozens of book bikes they celebrated.
ABOS also features four different sessions on Book Bike initiatives at its 2020 Virtual Conference. Go to the conference website to sign up. If you’d like to get started with a Book Bike at your library, consider working with a local bike shop. Many of the national book bike vendors currently have backlogs, so buying local may get you something quicker (and with someone you can turn to for help!).
For more ideas on how to combine bicycling and public libraries, check out the Biking Librarians group on Facebook.

Additional resources for HEAL 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.