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Physical Literacy

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.

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. 

Library Walking and Running Clubs

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Library's running team

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.

Kinetic Literacy

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Mother and son run in a race.

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.  Boy climbs on tightrope.</body></html>

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. 

Bilingual Market Storytime

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Woman and children sit on blanket and look at books.

Saturday mornings in our small town are not the busiest time at the LP Fisher Public Library, especially in the summer. People have either gone to the lake, are working in their gardens, or are at the farmers market. We are situated in a fairly rural area and agriculture (both marget garden and industrial) makes up a fair bit of our economy. So in 2018, we decided to try going to where the farmers and shoppers are — the market.

Spring Break Challenge Quest: Yoga

Yoga pose silhouette

Spring Break Challenge Quest was a library district-wide, weeklong drop-in and passive program for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Held during our schools' spring break, the series involved daily "quests" to challenge the mind and body, from scavenger hunts to binary coding to yoga.

The yoga quest challenged kids to look at printed silhouettes of yoga poses (e.g. child's pose, downward-facing dog) and figure out how to position their bodies into the poses shown. 

Programs for Maternal Health

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Mom laying down holding baby over her head on a yoga mat.

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.

A Range of Ages: Mixed-Age Play at the Library

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Three young children browsing books on a table at an outdoor event.

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.

Cursive Writing Course

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Girl practicing writing in cursive at a table

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.

Yoga for Heart Ache: Building Inclusive Programs

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Yoga for Heart Ache logo

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?

Middle Earth Walking Challenge

Three women walking in the woods

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.”

Outdoor Water Party

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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.)

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