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Libraries Help Each Other Address Food Insecurity through Programming

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Children eating lunch

In September, I had the opportunity to attend both the annual Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) and the biennial Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) conferences. For me, the major take-away from both events is that libraries can help each other develop programs that address food insecurity.

Health Programs through Partnerships: A Case Study

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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. 

DLD Health Literacy Initiative

X-ray

The Connecticut State library's Health Library Initiative is one of the our Division of Library Development (DLD) Strategic Focus Plan "Seven Literacies" — a key element of the Division's LSTA Five Year Plan. The initiative consists of strategic partnerships; ongoing health webinar offerings; professional development workshops, and online health and wellness resources.

Nourishing a Community: Mechanicville Farmers Market, Garden & Orchard

A booth at the Farmers Market

In June 2017, the Mechanicville District Public Library kicked off a community farmers market on the library’s front lawn. Throughout the summer, on Mondays from 4 to 7 p.m., hundreds of people came to stock up on vegetables, pasta, eggs, honey and other goods from local farms.

For a community with a 16.3 percent poverty rate, a market delivering fresh, local goods at affordable prices was a game-changer, and it also gave local farms an opportunity to sell their products.

A Recipe for Reading: Culinary Literacy at Your Library

Free Library of Philadelphia and Athens Regional Library System LogosIn this session, the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Center will share their work over the last five years using food and cooking as a context for learning in neighborhood libraries across Philadelphia. With some basic utensils and countertop appliances, you can create your own mobile kitchen classroom.

Have Things, Will Program: Programming around Your Sports 'Library of Things'

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Child kicking soccer ball

This month, two Michigan public libraries — Pontiac and Pinckney — acquired basketballs, footballs, baseballs and other sports equipment that can be checked out from the library for a two-week period, marking the beginning of Project Play: Southeast Michigan.

Of course, all that equipment does no good if it just sits on the shelves, so libraries are working with partners, in particular local YMCAs, to offer active play programs that show patrons how to utilize the new collections. 

It's Not Over 'til It's Over: Wrapping Up a Grant Project

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Young boy in Go Kart with upstreched arms

In this blog series, we’ve talked about all aspects of Boomers and Beyond, a large-scale, grant-funded program series for Baby Boomers at the Palos Verdes Library District — from deciding which grant to apply for based on our community’s needs, to owning our failures, to getting people to show up for our 36 programs.

Get Fit with Geri-Fit

five water bottles and two sets of dumbbells

Geri-Fit® is a 45-minute, evidence-based strength training exercise class for older adults of all physical ability. Most of the bodybuilding exercises are performed seated in chairs with a set of light dumbbell weights with participants following along to a DVD or streamed workout. There’s no dancing, aerobics or choreography to learn, and participants never have to get on the floor.

Health and Wellness: Worthy of Full-Time Programming

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Through its full-time youth health and program coordinator position, the City of Harker Heights (Texas) Stewart C. Meyer Public Library is working to infuse health and wellness into all of its programming.

Destinee Barton stepped into this new role in September 2018 after earning her bachelor’s degree in community health from Texas Woman’s University. I recently talked with Destinee, along with Library Director Lisa Youngblood and Children's Librarian Amanda Hairton, about how this new position emerged, what impacts it has had, and where they see it heading.

Emergency Preparedness Planning

the word "help" spelled in matches

To better prepare the community in case of an emergency, the Dallas Public Library prepared a joint library and community disaster preparedness plan. The plan included a one-shelf collection of books at seven branch locations and a one-shelf medical reference collection at three branch locations for the community to use in times of emergency.

We also created a pocket guide that would hold useful disaster preparation information and distributed 25 flash drives with pertinent information for use during a disaster when access to our server might be inhibited.

Tales and Travel

Tales and Travel banner, man reading

Through Tales and Travel, the Gail Borden Public Library seeks to reach a stigmatized population: older adults with early- to mid-stage dementia. This monthly “excursion,” offered at 17 assisted-living facilities in the region by the end of 2017, takes participants on an imaginary trip to another country or region of the United States using library materials (e.g. books, music and objects).

Wellness Wednesdays in Winterset: Lunch & Learns and More!

Selfie of participants in walking group

Winterset is a community of 5,120 in central Iowa, about 40 miles outside Des Moines. Since 2011, a number of our local organizations have collaborated to present Wellness Wednesdays in Winterset, a program series that strives to improve the health and wellness of our residents. Programs run from early May to late October and are free of charge and open to all ages.

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