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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.

The Cooperative Extension System: Your Library’s Go-To Partner for Gardening, Nutrition, and Healthy Living Programming

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Cutting board with vegetables

The Cooperative Extension System, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, exists to “encourage healthful lifestyles” by providing “non-formal education and learning activities to people throughout the country.” It emerged hand-in-hand with the land-grant university system and, over time, evolved from a focus on agricultural education in rural areas (4-H is part of the extension system) to a broader focus on health and food in both urban and rural parts of the country. 

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! 

National Library Week Caption Contest

Woman behind a desk in the library

Madison Area Technical College Library hosted a caption contest in celebration of National Library Week using historical photos from the college’s archive collection. The photos, dating from the 1960s and 1970s, featured students and staff in our original campus library, complete with the era’s décor and styles.

Students were encouraged to create clever captions for the photos, with speech and thought bubbles added to each. We received 114 contest entries, and the winner was awarded a Kindle Fire HD and a $50 Amazon gift card.

Wonder Time

Wonder Time

Wonder Time is an engaging program that encourages curiosity and self-expression. Children discover that learning is fun!

Each Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m., kids have an opportunity to “wonder” about something. The program is geared toward (but not limited to) children ages 6 to 14.

Oreo Taste-Test Challenge

Oreos

This program was modeled off a previous successful program held back in February where teens taste-tested candies from around the world. Because of the success of this previous program, the Teen Advisory Board at my library branch requested other taste-test programs.

We decided to try different Oreo flavors because of the abundance of different kinds of Oreos, especially around the holidays.

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