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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.
This year the LP Fisher Public Library teamed up with our local run club, the River Valley Runners. They got a place to have their monthly meetings, access to awesome running books (and periodicals, thanks to the generous donation of a member), and we got to particpate in their fun runs and help plan their events. It has turned out to be a true win-win.
We spend a lot of time in libraryland talking about literacy. And there are an awful lot of literacy skills to learn and teach: pre-literacy skills, visual literacy, numeracy, cultural literacy, information and computer or digital literacy…whew! But one of the most overlooked and underappreciated literacy skills is the one we use almost constantly from the time we are born: kinetic literacy, also known as physical literacy.
While attending the Next Library Conference in Berlin in September 2018 I showed up for an interactive session called "Library Story-Times and Maternal Mental Health." The talk was led by a library assistant from Essex Libraries in the U.K. and two researchers from the firm Shared Intelligence. I was curious about how storytimes could benefit new mothers, especially given my own experience as a new mom.
If you spend any time on social media, especially if you follow other libraries, librarians or community groups, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about intergenerational programming. I have read news stories about daycare groups being integrated with seniors’ homes, or 20-somethings finding mentors (and roommates!) in older adults.
Something we notice a lot here at the LP Fisher Public Library (and you probably do, too) is that when many of our young patrons get their first library card they have a difficult time signing the back. And we're not just talking preschoolers who are still learning to form letters — we're talking preteens and teenagers. Sometimes even adults.
Looking to add some movement to your storytimes? Interested in physical literacy, but not sure where to start? Here are six groovy titles to get you off on the right foot (pun intended). You can find more kid-friendly physical literacy book reviews here. So gather some kid-friendly instruments and be prepared to make some noise!
At public libraries we spend an awful lot of time celebrating the holidays and happy parts of life (as we should): Halloween parties, Valentine's crafts, Thanksgiving storytime, book launches, STEM programs. These are all exciting and essential services. But what about the needs of our patrons that are sometimes a bit messier, a bit more hidden from public view, a bit less Hallmark-card sweet and a bit more nitty-gritty reality?
The Middle Earth Walking Challenge was a fitness program that we tied to literature. Since the summer reading theme was Build a Better World, I chose J.R.R. Tolkien’s series “The Lord of the Rings,” giving participants the fantasy challenge of saving Middle Earth by walking from the Shire to Mt. Doom, with the goal of destroying the One Ring.
Participants kept track of the miles they walked from June until August. The winner received a copy of “The Lord of the Rings,” and runners-up received a copy of “The Hobbit.”
At the height of Summer Reading Club (SRC) or during an autumn back-to-school heat wave, sometimes the best thing to do is take the kids outside and hose them down — that will get the fidgets out! (Kidding!)
But seriously, throwing water balloons at people or targets is extremely therapeutic. I asked my SRC leader, Ebony Scott, to come up with a program called Water Games. My only stipulations were (1) that it not wet any of the books and (2) that it have a reasonable budget. (If only we could afford giant Nerf Super Soakers for everyone.)
Each year on June 21, the LP Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, New Brunswick, celebrates International Yoga Day, first made official by the United Nations on Dec. 11, 2014. But you don’t have to wait until June 2018 to celebrate — you can copy what we do by having a Family Yoga Party any time of year!
The staff at the LP Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, N.B., wanted to do something really unique this year to celebrate Canadian Library Month in October. We also wanted to do a Halloween activity, while being mindful of the many families in our community that don’t celebrate it, or are newcomers to the country and might be uncomfortable with some of our more macabre traditions.
Teens and tweens are invited to the library during its closed hours to play team laser tag. They are divided into two teams and take turns using laser phasers (purchased from Amazon) to play the game.
For our Summer Reading Club end party this year we wanted to include physical literacy elements that got the kids moving and shaking as well as reading and listening. So in addition to our usual storytime/pizza party with cake (and healthy veggies!), we also created an outdoor fun zone of giant board games in the parking lot (blocked off to cars of course by orange pylons).
When we hear the words "kinesthetic" or "physical" linked with literacy, we often think of sports, gym class, dance, yoga and other gross-motor-type programs. What we often overlook is how we are already incorporating much physical literacy in our library programs by adding tactile, hands-on activities to storytimes or events. And this is awesome — not only are we appealing to tactile learners (those than learn best by doing, not just seeing or hearing) but we are enhacing everyone's literacy skills, even the parents!