The October 2023 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries includes:

  • The call for submissions for StoryWalk Week 2023!
  • The announcement of the 2023 I Partner with My Public Library Award winners
  • A new blog post on the Farm to School movement and public libraries
  • A call for participation in online community conversations on the intersections of food justice and public librarianship
  • A summary of the September Birds of a Feather conversation and an invitation to join us in October
  • Inspiring stories from Florida and Iowa

This month’s featured image comes from Washington, D.C., where the League of American Bicyclists announced that their 2024 National Bike Summit will be held March 19-21 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, the central location of the DC Public Library!

We are thrilled to see that the nation’s premier 501(C)3 Non-Profit Organization dedicated to “create safer roads, stronger communities, and a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone,” has chosen to hold its annual summit in partnership with a public library!

The League invites proposals on a range of topics related to safer roads, slower speeds, and making biking better. Topics should be relevant to the bicycling movement and support enhancing Summit attendees’ collective understanding of how to make biking better through expanding cycling education, increasing the inclusivity of and access to bicycling through meaningful engagement, and building bike infrastructure for all ages and abilities that connects communities.

Preference will be given to proposals submitted on or before October 10, 2023 at 11:59pm PT. However, the RFP will remain open through December and additional proposals will be considered if there are additional openings in the Summit agenda or webinar series.

Let’s Move in Libraries would LOVE to see librarians submit proposals! You can submit a proposal directly through the League of American Bicyclists website, or you can contact us directly and indicate your interest. We would love to work with YOU to create a winning proposal for this Summit! Let’s Move in Libraries will be there!

One final note: This Summit will be entirely in person. However, the League of American Bicyclists also requests proposals for webinar presentations. Go here to submit a webinar idea!

The call for submissions for StoryWalk® Week 2023!

For the third consecutive year, Let’s Move in Libraries is teaming up with the Association of Bookmobile & Outreach Services (ABOS) for StoryWalk® Week 2023!

You are invited to take part by submitting a photo of your StoryWalk®, ideally with library staff or patrons, to be featured in the StoryWalk® Week Celebration! StoryWalk® Week will take over ABOS and Let’s Move in Libraries social media platforms the week of November 12-18, 2023, and all entries will be saved on the StoryWalk® Week 2023 webpage. StoryWalk® Week is the result of a partnership between ABOS and Let’s Move in Libraries.

All StoryWalks are welcome – even if they use other nomenclature like story trails, tale trails, story strolls, or whatever else you call yours!

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

To learn more check out the submission form, and also check out submissions from 2022 and 2021.

Limit one submission per Library. The deadline for submissions is Saturday, October 21, 2023.

We can’t wait to see your submissions!

The announcement of the 2023 I Partner with My Public Library Award winners

We are thrilled to share that we received 55 submissions for the inaugural I Partner with My Public Library Award! Submissions closed September 1.

If you miss this year’s call for nomination, don’t worry, we are making this an annual award to celebrate the power of community partnerships!

Final decisions were be made on October 1, 2023. Register for the awards ceremony, occurring on November 3 at 3 pm Eastern online in Zoom. The awards ceremony will be recorded. Awardees are also publicly celebrated on the Let’s Move in Libraries webpage, with Honorable Mentions to be added in early November.

We are thrilled to share that the 10 winners for 2023 are:

  • Holly City Development Corporation, New Jersey
  • Erie Community Action Thrift Store, Kansas
  • Child Care Resource and Referral of Washington County, Oregon
  • Tony Faiz Khayat, Arkansas
  • City of Chillicothe Transit Department, Ohio
  • Dr. Laura Munski, Dakota Science Center, North Dakota
  • Stop the Violence Team, Virginia
  • Department of Parks and Recreation in Columbus, Indiana
  • Hartford Public Schools, Connecticut
  • Vision to Learn – National non-profit nominated by public library in Georgia

With such a strong pool of applicants, the decision making process was extraordinarily difficult. The final list of awardees was informed by the following criteria:

  • Geographic diversity
  • Length and depth of the partnership
  • Mutuality of the partnership – did all collaborators contribute to making the partnership a success?
  • Impacts of the partnership

Thanks to all who submitting nominations!

Join us in celebrating these amazing community collaborators!

Join us to discuss the intersections of food justice and public librarianship

UNC Greensboro Department of Information, Libraries, and Research Associate Professor Noah Lenstra, along with Dr. Christine D’Arpa at Wayne State University in Detroit, were recently awarded an 18-month grant, from the Mellon Foundation’s Public Knowledge program for their research, “Public Libraries and Food Justice.”

We are asking public library workers across America to join us for a short online conversation about this topic. Our hope is that through these conversations and convenings, we will strengthen our knowledge about the public library work that goes into food-related programming and partnerships. Our ultimate goal is to use this understanding to build infrastructure, advocacy, and awareness around it. Get started by filling out this short, one-page form, which we designed to collect information on public library workers interested in joining these conversations, to be scheduled in Winter-Spring 2023-2024.

Public libraries have long offered food-related programming and resources, often through partnerships with local Cooperative Extension educators, farmers, farmers markets, chefs, and gardeners. However, D’Arpa notes, “in recent years we have witnessed a shift toward a more explicit concern among library workers with a growing inequity of access to food in their communities.”

“This work is intended to help us understand and document how public libraries and library workers collaborate with communities with a special eye to food justice issues,” said Lenstra. “Our interest is less in the public library food justice programs themselves than the processes and relationships and resources necessary for them to be developed and succeed. In order to understand those steps and fully appreciate their subtleties, complexities, and the resulting collaborative nexus we will engage directly with library workers. Their voices and how they talk about their work is at the center of this research project.”

Drs. Lenstra and D’Arpa will work with a strategically selected team of research fellows and graduate student assistants to convene three meetings of public library workers. The purpose of these convenings, and of the overall project, is to better understand how and why public libraries become involved in food justice efforts. The results of this exploratory research project will set the stage for more in-depth analysis of the roles of public libraries in supporting, sustaining, and possibly accelerating local food justice movements across America.

Join us in this exploratory project! Add your voice and join the conversation. You can also share this link with others you think may be interested in joining the conversation (go.uncg.edu/mellon_survey)

A new blog post on the Farm to School movement and public libraries

Did you know that October is National Farm to School Month in the United States?

Starting this month we are going to feature in our newsletter blog posts by leaders within Let’s Move in Libraries. We’re thrilled to start this series with Deborah Dutcher, Library Services Consultant, for the New Hampshire State Library. Thank you Deborah for sharing what you learned from the Farm to School Movement!

Check out Deborah’s blog post on Farm to School and Public Libraries to learn more about this intersection!

A summary of the September Birds of a Feather conversation and an invitation to join us in October

Want to join a community of public library workers and partners interested in the topics celebrated by Let’s Move in Libraries? Join us in our monthly Birds of a Feather conversation series.

Beginning in February 2023, we host monthly one-hour Birds of a Feather online conversation. The next event will be October 18. Join us for an inspiring, engaging, open and lively conversation.

What is a Birds of a Feather conversation? It’s an opportunity for individuals with shared interests to gather together (birds of a feather flock together) to share resources, inspire one another, and generally build community.

These events are never recorded so that all participants can share freely. Join us!

During our September 2023 conversation, we had a wide-ranging conversation centered on food and cooking programs, with some discussion of library services for older adults. Here are some of the resources shared:

Cambridge Public Library to Launch Cultural Culinary Series

Teaching Gardens and Junior Master Gardeners

Boston Public Library’s Community Gardening LibGuide

Skokie Public Library Food Month programs

A Journey Through Parkinson’s Disease to be at the Pella Public Library

Park Ranger Sydney, South Portland Public Library, and Age Friendly South Portland partnered for a Nature Walk designed for people living with dementia on June 15th!

Pathways to Well-Being With Dementia; A Manual of Help, Hope and Inspiration.  Free for download.

Keeping Busy : Dementia activities and games

For doing a Dementia Inclusive walk : Dementia Friendly Walking Groups – Dementia Action Collaborative: Washington State

In addition to sharing resources, participants shared ideas and supported one another in their initiatives!

Join us October 18 for our next Birds of a Feather online conversation.

Inspiring stories from Florida and Iowa

We’re are thrilled to share that in August 2023, as part of its continuing education services, all were invited to “Join Maryann Mori (State Library of Iowa) and Misty VonBehren (Perry Public Library) as they chatted about how Perry Public Library has partnered with numerous local agencies to bring a “Walking School Bus” to the elementary school children of Perry.” 

Check out the recording of this conversation on the State Library of Iowa’s YouTube channel.

We are thrilled to share that in Florida, the Hernando County Public Library partnered with the Hernando County Parks and Recreation Department and the Florida Department of Health in Hernando County to bring the StoryWalk to residents. In their press release they mentioned Let’s Move in Libraries! Thank you! Did you know that our logo is free to use and you are welcome to mention Let’s Move in Libraries in any and all media releases related to your healthy living initiatives? Join us in building this movement!

Read the full story at Library StoryWalk program begins Saturday, Sept. 16

Was this newsletter forwarded to you?

Subscribe to the Let’s Move in Libraries newsletter for monthly editions of success stories, educational opportunities, and food for thought that will deepen the impact of HEAL (Healthy Eating & Active Living) programs and services in public libraries. Also follow the project on FacebookInstagramYouTube, and Twitter to stay up-to-date. 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 activities.