You are here

outdoor

Bike Ride: Visualizing the 1919 Chicago Race Riots in Today’s City

Bikers during the ride

This event was a large-scale (approximately 140 people), 10-mile bike ride through Chicago's South Side neighborhoods, where violence erupted during the Chicago Race Riots of July 1919.

Facilitated by Blackstone Bicycle Works, a community-based nonprofit, and in partnership with other community-based groups, the tour started at the only marker of the riots in the city — at 29th Street and the lakefront — and then moved through the neighborhoods of Bronzeville, Bridgeport, the Stockyards and back to the lake.

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! 

Unicorn Party

A girl on a horse decorated as a unicorn

The Unicorn Party was planned in response to the growing fandom associated with unicorns, particularly among children, tweens and teens. The program lasted 90 minutes and comprised several unicorn-based activities, unicorn snacks, a unicorn book display and a "live unicorn" (i.e. decorated pony).

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.

Trucks! Trucks! Trucks!

Mother and son ordering at a food truck

Trucks! Trucks! Trucks! is a food truck-meets-touch-a-truck festival. Local food truck vendors come to the library to sell a variety of sweet and savory foods while people explore the many trucks brought by local government, businesses and military departments.

In 2017, we held the event on a Saturday in mid-June from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in our library parking lot. Roughly 2,300 people attended. 

Active Kids

A poster that reads "Hey Elementary Kids!" and has information on a volleyball activity.

Active Kids is a program designed to get elementary-age kids moving. Once a month, a volunteer comes to the library to teach the kids different ways of getting active through activites such as yoga, karate and softball.

I'm Perfect: A Self-Love Event

Brooklyn Public Library Youth Advisory Council members

Inspired by the idea that loving and caring for oneself is essential to well-being, the Brooklyn Heights Library Youth Council presented a self-love event called I’m Perfect. The event was held at the nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park in May 2017, and featured music, arts and crafts, food and guided meditation.

Outdoor Water Party

jcarson's picture
Kids sitting in a circle. Photo credit: Craig Scott

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.)

Subscribe to outdoor