The September 2021 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries includes:

  • How to participate in the inaugural StoryWalk(R) Week Celebration
  • The launch of our new Active Early Learning community of practice
  • Funding opportunities to support community health partnerships
  • How Food Literacy Month and Libraries come together
  • New multi-lingual, free physical literacy resources you can use
  • A resource you can use to find books that promote physical activity

This month’s featured image comes from our collaboration with the Association of Bookmobile & Outreach Services (ABOS). From November 15-19, 2021, we will be celebrating the inaugural StoryWalk(R) Week by featuring on our social media images of library StoryWalk(R) programs from around the world! All are invited to participate. To get started and for more information, go to this form prepared by ABOS.

ABOS celebrates library outreach all year round. Learn more about their other special events, including Book Bike Week, and Little Free Library Week.

Learn more about how to get started with StoryWalk(R) programming and partnerships on our StoryWalk(R) resource page.

Launch of Communities of Practice!

This year we want to create more opportunities for librarians and their partners to come together to exchange resources. To that end, we are thrilled to announce the launch of our first three Communities of Practice (CoP), one focused on Yoga & Meditation, one focused on Active Early Learning and one focused on Partnerships for Healthy Communities.

The Partnerships for Healthy Communities CoP will be led by Christie Bruner, Community Engagement Supervisor, for Healthy St. Pete, City of St. Petersburg, Florida. Come to share your ideas on how we can do more by working collaboratively with community partners! The kick off event will be Friday, September 17, at 1 pm Eastern.

The Active Early Learning CoP will be led by Barbara Scott, Children’s Librarian at the Bucyrus Public Library, Ohio. This Community of Practice is your space to share resources, ideas, and support with your peers around how to support active early learning. The kick off event will be Thursday, September 23, at 2 pm Eastern.

The Yoga & Meditation CoP will be led by Jenn Carson, library leader, author, and Library Director of the LP Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, New Brunswick.  Come to share your ideas on how we can infuse Yoga & Meditation into our libraries! The kick off event will be Wednesday, September 29, at 2 pm Eastern.

These are not webinars. Come ready to turn on your mic, camera, and participate.

We are hoping to make these monthly events, but that depends on you!

So join in, and let’s make it happen.

Funding opportunities to support community health partnerships

We want to share two funding opportunities that public libraries in the United States may leverage to support community health partnerships.

The third grant round of the American Library Association’s Libraries Transforming Communities grants focused on small and rural libraries (libraries that serve populations under 25,000) is currently open. The deadline to apply is September 16, and the grant provide you with $3,000 and technical support to facilitate community conversations on pressing local issues, including community health. Learn more and apply here.

Recipients of grants in the previous two rounds show how these funds can be used to support community health.

In Oregon, the Athena Public Library unveiled its new book bike on Monday, June 7, 2021. The Libraries Transforming Communities grant from the American Library Association paid for the majority of the bike costs. The remainder of the costs were paid for by the Athena Library Friends Association. In total, the book bike cost around $3,500. Learn more here.

In Arizona, the Patagonia Public Library used grant funds to “fund the library’s new ‘Library of Things,’ which includes a lending telescope from Cornerstones of Science, as well as birdwatching, butterfly spotting and plant identification backpack kits available for checkout. As part of the grant, library staff host a conversation with residents about citizen science projects” that encourage local community members to get outside and be active in nature. Learn more here.

In Hawai’i, the Waimea Public Library used its funds to facilitate community dialogue about the future of 417 acres recently acquired by the County, which may be used for housing, recreational, agricultural and/or conservation purposes. Learn more here.

Another funding opportunity you may want to consider the Orton Family Foundation’s Community Heart & Soul Seed Grant Program, which provides $10,000 in funding for resident-driven groups in small cities and towns to start the Community Heart & Soul model. Learn more here. Librarians have participated in this project already, including in Bucksport, Maine, where the library worked hand-in-hand with community partners to create a new StoryWalk trail.

How Food Literacy Month and Libraries come together

Did you know that September is Food Literacy Month (as well Library Card Sign-Up Month!) in the United States? We want to thank our friends from Readers to Eaters for sharing with us these ideas on how to celebrate the occasion.

• Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s 2015 Proclamation for Food Literacy Month

• A 2019 article by Gwen Vanderhage, MLIS, on Food Literacy Month and library connections

• Food Literacy Month reading list from Napa Bookmine in Napa, California

• Readers to Eaters food literacy book list. Many titles are in Spanish and many are also available as audiobooks.

• How to Request a Proclamation from the Governor or Mayor (From the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to promote National Nutrition Month in March but applicable to all efforts to make Food Literacy and Nutrition local and state-wide celebrations)

For school librarians, Food Literacy Month events can lead nicely to October’s National Farm to School Month.

In celebration of Food Literacy Month, we want to share this AMAZING story from Jaffrey, New Hampshire, about the efforts of library staff there. Library director Julie Perrin (pictured here) stands in front of her library’s recently launched Farm Fresh Community Fridge. The fridge is part of a broad-based library initiative to support food literacy and food security. It all depends on community partnerships and the public library being part of the conversation, and therefore part of the solution.

A local reporter recently featured their efforts. Here’s the opening. Read on in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.

“A fridge full of vegetables by the checkout counter, to-go snack bags by the door, and fruit trees and bushes planted in the Jaffrey Public Library’s Learning Garden are all part of the library’s continuing effort to teach children about where their food comes from, and address food insecurity in the community.

Since 2017, the Jaffrey Public Library has been adding programs to build “food literacy” – where our food comes from and what effects the food we eat has on our health and the community around us.

Four years ago, it started with the library’s Seed Library program. With grant assistance, the library was able to provide a variety of seeds that patrons could choose to use in their own garden, or offer seeds from their own gardening efforts.”

Read the full story of how the “Jaffrey Public Library promotes food literacy, helps close the food insecurity gap.”

New multi-lingual, free physical literacy resources you can use

Need physical literacy resources in a language other than English? The organization Active for Life strives to promote physical literacy as much as possible, and part of that means being accessible. If you know of families, communities or organizations who could use physical literacy resources in additional languages, we have translations available now! Find more info here. Materials are currently available in Amharic, Arabic, Farsi, Mandarin, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrinya, and Urdu. All are available to download. If you are interested in helping translate any of our resources into another language, please contact them.

These resources can be shared on your library’s social media, distributed at storytime programs, and creatively made available to families in your communities.

Let us know how you’ll share these free resources!

A resource you can use to find books that promote physical activity

We often get asked about recommended titles for StoryWalk(R) and active early learning programs. We’re thrilled to share that thanks to a partnership with Dr. Mary Grace Flaherty at the University of North Carolina, the Let’s Move in Libraries website now has a new resource focused on this topic!

Read & Reach! is a  Resource for Promoting Physical Activity in Storytime and StoryWalk(R) Programs.This resource was created through an ALA Carnegie Whitney Grant. This project was developed at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science. Thanks to the generosity of the creators, this resource has been reproduced in its entirety on the Let’s Move in Libraries website! Get started with this resource.

What resources do you turn to as you look for titles to support your library’s healthy programming? Let us know so we can share with others!

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 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 movement-based programs and services in public libraries. Also follow the project on Facebook 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 physical activity.