The September 2022 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries includes:

  • A new article on how a StoryWalk® can bring a community together around walkability
  • Inspiring stories from summer reading 2022
  • An upcoming webinar on Closing the Gap: Public libraries and public health

This month’s featured image comes from Muncie, Indiana, where on August 25, the public library held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new health track. The track is a quarter-mile walking trail that encircles much of the green space at Maring-Hunt Library and was made possible by a grant from the Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation. This photo is of Muncie Public Library enjoying the new health track. Photo by Noelle Sherrell.

“The health track completes the vision for the green space that we created with neighborhood input, students and leaders in the BSU Immersive Learning Program, and the 8Twelve Coalition,” said Muncie Public Library Director Akilah Nosakhere. “We are extremely grateful to the Zeigler Foundation for generously making this part of the vision a reality.”

Nosakhere added, “While the community garden plots and pavilions provide for neighborhood collaboration, fresh produce, and educational events, the health track provides an outlet for healthy exercise for neighborhood residents, library employees, and customers.” Nosakhere also hopes that nearby South View Elementary will utilize the track for outdoor activities. She noted that a StoryWalk feature will also be added soon, so walkers can read a book or story as they stop at different stations around the track.

Mary Lou Gentis, Manager of Maring-Hunt Library, shares the optimism for the new health track and the benefits it will provide the community, “I am excited for the opportunities the health track offers this neighborhood. Our garden area already gets lots of use and this will be one more attraction to draw residents to the space,” she said. “I envision seniors working to increase their daily steps, parents walking with strollers, and young children discovering nature and enjoying the play areas and the planned StoryWalk,” she said.

Read the full story at Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Planned for New Muncie Public Library Health Track.

A new article on how a StoryWalk® can bring a community together around walkability

With our partners, America Walks, we recently published a new article entitled “How a StoryWalk Can Bring a Community Together Around Walkability.”

Below is a brief excerpt. Read the full story on America Walks website!

“Librarian Kay Kay DeRossette says a 2020 America Walks Community Change Grant enabled her and the Central Arkansas Library System to not only install a StoryWalk at one of the library’s branches, but to also begin working with other partners to make sure that branch and other library locations are walkable. In partnership with the local Safe Routes group, ‘Over 200 stakeholders were engaged in [a] project where they were tasked with assessing walkability surrounding the Children’s Library,’ which led to a temporary, month-long road diet to increase the visibility of efforts to connect people to the library.”

On November 16, 2022, we are speaking at Safe Routes Partnership‘s Safe Routes to School Virtual Summit that will take place on Zoom. The Summit will include keynote sessions, webinars, and networking opportunities for Safe Routes practitioners and partners, including librarians! They are organizing as part of the summit a webinar session about partnerships between libraries, Safe Routes to School, and other active transportation and public health programs. We can’t wait to participate in this event! We’ll share more information about how to sign up in a future newsletter.

If you or your library has done anything innovative to promote bicycling, walking, or active transportation more generally, we’d love to hear from you!

We also want to share that in partnership with the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach we are planning for the second annual StoryWalk® Week celebration this November. Check out the photos and stories shared last year, and get ready to share what you have done this past year!

Inspiring stories from summer reading 2022

We want to thank Roanna Hooton, Adult Services Coordinator at the New Carlisle-Olive Township Public Library in Indiana; Victoria Hungerford of the Craven-Pamlico Regional Library in North Carolina; and Alicia Hammond, Forest Park Public Library, in Illinois for sharing these inspiring stories about their summer reading programming!

At the New Carlisle-Olive Township Public Library, “This summer we hosted cooking classes for children. The children learned to make pancakes, yogurt parfait with real fruit, walking tacos with cilantro, homemade hummus and veggie foil packets.

The children got to use knives, graters, peelers and a mortar and pestle. They learned how to use this equipment safely. They also got to try a variety of new foods and herbs. They were asked to describe the taste not using the words yucky or disgusting. The children were asked to at least try everything.”

At the Craven-Pamlico Regional Library’s New Bern Craven Public Library in North Carolina, “Not only are we still doing Yoga/Meditation and Tai Chi classes, but my talented co-worker Aniyah Avrawhawm is now doing Hula and Belly Dancing lessons too.

“Aniyah recently helped me with our Community Connections African Drum & Dance Workshop where she taught the entire community dances. I am proud to report (and I’m sure you’ll agree) that New Bern Craven Public Library is keeping their community moving!”

At the Forest Park Public Library, “This summer, we held a monthly walking group. This brought together different people in the community that allowed connection, taking in our lovely neighborhood, and providing movement.

We have had patrons ask for more sessions as well as different times. This has also brought people together to talk who might not normally meet.”

Thanks Roanna and Alicia for sharing! We’re always interested in sharing stories about how public libraries support healthy living. Share your story with us!

An upcoming webinar on Closing the Gap: Public libraries and public health

On September 8 at 1:00pm Central Time, Dr. Noah Lenstra, Dr. Emily Vardell, and Janet Reynolds will be presenting on Closing the Gap: Public Libraries and Public Health as part of the Kansas Public Health Department’s Navigating Rural Health Resources webinar series.

During this session, we will be learning about some of the ways rural librarians can and do collaborate with others to support healthy communities.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to register to attend. Please share the attached flyer and event information below with anyone who may be interested, and any questions can be sent to the organizer, Ashley Wallace (she/her), Program Analyst, Primary Care & Rural Health, in the KDHE Bureau of Community Health Systems.

This webinar will highlight information and resources about:

– Basics of what libraries are and what librarians do
– Promising examples of partnerships
– Ways rural librarians collaborate with others to support healthy communities

Register here.

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