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The Path to Healthy Aging: Partnering with Aging Councils and Agencies

nlenstra's picture
Older adults touching palms

Together, Area Agencies on Aging and Councils on Aging constitute the public infrastructure designed to support America’s older adults. As such, they are natural partners for public libraries seeking to develop programs that lead communities “on the path to healthy aging,” as the ALA Health Literacy Toolkit puts it.

Health Programs through Partnerships: A Case Study

nlenstra's picture
Woman rolling up yoga mat

New research by a San Jose State University scholar finds that most health programs offered by a major U.S. public library system are developed through community partnerships. San Jose Public Library not only works with partners to develop programs offered at the library, they also participate in regional health campaigns. Keep reading to learn how they do it, and to get inspired to try something new at your library! 

Roll-n-Read

Children listening to storytime

Our library has partnered with our local Wood River Parks and Recreation Department to offer a weekly children's program for kids (ages 5 and younger) that combines gymnastics and motor skills with literacy.

The library provides staff and a story for storytime; the parks department provices the gymnastics equipment and space for the little ones to play. 

Breaking through the Busy: Tips for Getting the Students Who Already Do Everything

klewallen's picture
Students sitting around a lunch table

“Students are too busy nowadays.” I’m sure we’ve all heard it. So here are a few tips — from my own experience and crowdsourced from other very helpful librarians — to break through the haze of busy-ness and reach students.

Middle School Panel

School bus

The Fifth Annual Middle School Panel  was a great opportunity for parents/guardians to hear about the local middle schools and their programs. This program was geared for parents/guardians of fourth- and fifth-graders. 

The event was hosted by the Palms-Rancho Park Branch Library in partnership with 17 area schools and organizations. Program representatives from the area schools addressed parents, legal guardians and students about their respective middle schools in terms of academic programs, resources and performance.

See What I'm Saying

Three children sitting down and looking at books

See What I’m Saying was a children’s program that promoted reading, writing and public speaking skills in students in kindergarten through grade 5.

The program took place on Saturday mornings over a nine-week period at our county’s Civic Center (since the library doesn’t allow food). At each session, kids were invited select a book, read the book, write a brief report about it, and share their report out loud to a group.

Partnerships: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

lishizaka's picture
A man and a woman shake hands over a table

Our last blog post — in which we assessed our community's needs and set out to create a health and wellness program series for older adults — ended with a good idea, lots of enthusiasm ... and approximately zero dollars. How were we going to fund this fantastic smorgasbord of health, wealth and self-care program opportunities for the 55-and-older crowd on the Peninsula?

Small but Mighty: Examples of Greatness from Small Libraries

Small library

Like most organizations that provide continuing education opportunities, our State Library of Iowa issues an evaluation form following our training events for library workers. Once, after we presented some great ideas for summer reading programming, some of our attendees’ comments implied that the ideas were good only for “big libraries” — not for small libraries with limited staff, budgets and spaces.

Partnering with Academic Institutions for Health and Wellness Programming

nlenstra's picture
Group of people walking toward a campus building

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are 4,360 colleges and the universities in the United States. More likely than not, there is a college or university close to you — and partnering with them is a great way to bring high-quality health and wellness programming to your library.

Big Programs, Little Budget: Forging Community Partnerships in a Small Town

Meservey, Iowa, is tiny — fewer than 250 residents —  and the library’s budget is tight. Despite this, the Meservey Public Library has managed to triple its program attendance in the past few years and create many memorable, budget-friendly events. 

Drawing on her experience as director of the Meservey Public Library, Chelsea Price will share ideas for hosting "big" programs on a small budget and discuss how partnerships can be an invaluable resource for programming. 

Participants of this session will:

Read to Swim

Girl wearing swim floaties. Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

Read to Swim is a joint summer program with the Yukon Public Library and the local community pool that strives to get children familiar with the library space and reading during their break. It took place from July 6, 2018, through the end of August 2018.

After reading for one hour at the library, kids are given a voucher for free admission to the pool.

Storytime in the Orchard

Woman reading outside to a crowd

Storytime in the Orchard is an all-ages storytime hosted by Boyertown Community Library and Frecon Farms. It is held outdoors on Thursdays at 9 a.m. from mid-June through October, weather permitting.

This program enhances awareness of local agriculture, provides a family experience of nature and boosts health literacy while having fun.

Hospitals & Health Care Systems: Natural Partners for Library Health Programming

nlenstra's picture
Red stethoscope with red felt heart on turquoise background

Health care systems and hospitals can be the best partners you can have for health programming. Public libraries in the U.S. have worked with hospitals to offer everything from bike safety programs to healthy cooking classes to fun, engaging hand hygiene games.

Parks & Rec: A Health Programming Partner

nlenstra's picture
A young girl playing with bubbles in a park

Each year, one Sunday in late April is National ParkRX Day. This day celebrates the “the growing movement of prescribing parks and nature to patients to improve human health.” National ParkRX Day builds upon the U.S. Surgeon General’s call to promote walking and walkable communities. Americans need to move more, and parks are the perfect place for that.

LibraryGame

One finished game made by a student.

The Librarygame project teaches fifth graders the concepts of storytelling, technology and project management through the creation of video games. The program is a collaboration between Sacramento Public Library and local Title I schools, many of which lack the funds to hold this type of program without a partner.

Partnering with Your Local Health Department

nlenstra's picture
Stethoscope wrapped around a stack of books

Public health professionals focus on promoting healthy lifestyles and on protecting and improving the health of families and communities. Nearly every community in the U.S. has a local public health department or some other regional health agency. According to the National Association of County and City Health Officials, there are nearly 3,000 local health departments across the country.

Library Resource Outreach Center/Health Central

Black and white stethoscope

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, homelessness is a public health issue. Central Library, like many public libraries, serves as a daytime shelter for Rochester’s homeless population.

In response, Central created the Library Resource Outreach Center (LROC) and Health Central (HC). The program has no eligibility standards, and no appointments are necessary for users to receive services.

Reading Rocks

Completed rocks for the Reading Rocks program

Waxahachie has a social group called Rocks-a-Hachie, which paints and hides rocks all over town for others to find and re-hide. The 12-year-old founder of this group and her mother came to Nicholas P. Sims Library (NPSL) wanting to do a book-themed rock-hiding project that would get families excited about reading. Several group members painted all the rocks and wrote "return to library" on the back.

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