Think outside the box for StoryWalk® success!

Eagle Mountain Public Library, Utah, U.S.A.

A full-size Story Walk may not work for everyone but there might be other options! Our parks department couldn’t grant us permission to use the city  park, and we unfortunately do not own the land around our town library. However, librarians are flexible and creative! With our limited land space and denied access to the park, we found another way to provide some outdoor Halloween fun for our patrons big and small. A down-sized Story Walk with live reading at our town Halloween event was our adaptation.

Library staff members  were discouraged at first, but when our city leadership announced an upcoming outdoor candy alley for local businesses, our library director enrolled us for a section of the field. This would allow us to still encourage physical activity and also share the love of our holiday book collection!

Staff started putting together ideas for decorations, games, treats and of course books to share with our local families. We invited our patrons to come to our down-sized Story time event in costume. Our staff members donned costumes as well. Everyone really had fun dressing up! We saw an Indiana Jones family, the whole fairytale crew of the Wizard of Oz, pink poodles, a Star Wars family, dinosaurs, clowns, etc.

As our event was just getting started, dark clouds moved in and the sky started to sprinkle down rain. Library staff members began to worry we’d have poor attendance but we found another way to be resourceful and adaptive! Fortunately for all of us, canopies were brought from home to keep us dry and no one seemed to be afraid of getting a little bit wet. Furthermore, a food truck pulled onto the field to offer steamy hot chocolate.  Thankfully, local families did not want to miss out on candy or the chance to stroll and hear spooky stories. The coloring sheets we offered to match the books we read were also a big hit!

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Lessons learned: Explore all options before giving up on an idea! StoryWalk® success does not require partnerships with parks or library grounds. Leave no stone unturned.

Combine your library’s efforts with your community’s efforts and you will amplify each others’ efforts. Win-win!

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