Nonprofits are everywhere. Wherever you are located, it's likely that there are numerous nonprofit organizations at work in your community that you've never even heard of. In 2009, the Hayward (Calif.) Public Library merged with another city department and took on the city's community grants program. They found that in this city of 150,000 there are over 2,000 nonprofit organizations!
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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.
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.
Just over a year ago, my branch of Baltimore County Public Library started doing monthly outreach visits at the Charles Hickey School at the Maryland Juvenile Detention Center for Boys. We do regular outreach to all the other schools in our area, we thought; why not bring library-led reading and discussion to this one, too?
As a child, I was very curious, annoying my family with my constant questions. In adulthood, that curiosity led me to librarianship. I am constantly trying to learn new things.
Libraries are key to expanding people’s curiosity, not just about the world, but about each other. For your library to truly be open to all, a place where everyone is welcome to learn about each other, you need to engage all segments of your community — not just those that you are intrinsically a part of.
According to America Walks, “good health is not the only benefit of walking. In fact, there is a broad range of individual and community benefits that accrue when people walk more often and when communities are designed to make walking safe, enjoyable and convenient.” The benefits include safe neighborhoods, healthy communities, social equity, environmental sustainability and even improved economies.
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.
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.
At two national health conferences last month, I learned about an array of new programs taking place in public libraries, from Play Streets to Fix-A-Flat. A major take-away from these conferences is that many people across the country interested in health are ready and eager to team up with public librarians.
I also learned a new acronym: HEAL, which stands for Healthy Eating, Active Living.
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?
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.
In this free, 60-minute webinar, presenters will discuss the Great Stories Club program and application process, in advance of the July 9 application deadline. Learn more about the Great Stories Club.
Webinar topics will include:
Join us for a one-hour webinar to hear programming and partnership ideas for "The Vietnam War."
Attendees of this session will:
- Discover program ideas from public libraries that were awarded "The Vietnam War" programming kit
- Learn about potential partnerships for documentary discussion programs in your community
- Find event resources for hosting programming about "The Vietnam War"