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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! 

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. 

A Recipe for Reading: Culinary Literacy at Your Library

Free Library of Philadelphia and Athens Regional Library System LogosIn this session, the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Center will share their work over the last five years using food and cooking as a context for learning in neighborhood libraries across Philadelphia. With some basic utensils and countertop appliances, you can create your own mobile kitchen classroom.

Have Things, Will Program: Programming around Your Sports 'Library of Things'

nlenstra's picture
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. 

It's Not Over 'til It's Over: Wrapping Up a Grant Project

lishizaka's picture
Young boy in Go Kart with upstreched arms

In this blog series, we’ve talked about all aspects of Boomers and Beyond, a large-scale, grant-funded program series for Baby Boomers at the Palos Verdes Library District — from deciding which grant to apply for based on our community’s needs, to owning our failures, to getting people to show up for our 36 programs.

Get Fit with Geri-Fit

five water bottles and two sets of dumbbells

Geri-Fit® is a 45-minute, evidence-based strength training exercise class for older adults of all physical ability. Most of the bodybuilding exercises are performed seated in chairs with a set of light dumbbell weights with participants following along to a DVD or streamed workout. There’s no dancing, aerobics or choreography to learn, and participants never have to get on the floor.

Health and Wellness: Worthy of Full-Time Programming

nlenstra's picture

Through its full-time youth health and program coordinator position, the City of Harker Heights (Texas) Stewart C. Meyer Public Library is working to infuse health and wellness into all of its programming.

Destinee Barton stepped into this new role in September 2018 after earning her bachelor’s degree in community health from Texas Woman’s University. I recently talked with Destinee, along with Library Director Lisa Youngblood and Children's Librarian Amanda Hairton, about how this new position emerged, what impacts it has had, and where they see it heading.

Emergency Preparedness Planning

the word "help" spelled in matches

To better prepare the community in case of an emergency, the Dallas Public Library prepared a joint library and community disaster preparedness plan. The plan included a one-shelf collection of books at seven branch locations and a one-shelf medical reference collection at three branch locations for the community to use in times of emergency.

We also created a pocket guide that would hold useful disaster preparation information and distributed 25 flash drives with pertinent information for use during a disaster when access to our server might be inhibited.

Tales and Travel

Tales and Travel banner, man reading

Through Tales and Travel, the Gail Borden Public Library seeks to reach a stigmatized population: older adults with early- to mid-stage dementia. This monthly “excursion,” offered at 17 assisted-living facilities in the region by the end of 2017, takes participants on an imaginary trip to another country or region of the United States using library materials (e.g. books, music and objects).

Wellness Wednesdays in Winterset: Lunch & Learns and More!

Selfie of participants in walking group

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.

Summit Fitbit Cohorts

Activity tracker

The Science & Technology Division of the Akron Summit County Public Library developed and implemented a program to loan out wearable fitness trackers to low-income residents in the city of Akron. This program sought to get residents more active and also teach them about library health resource, so participants were required to attend two training sessions on National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources.

Advertising, Marketing & Making Connections

lishizaka's picture
Boomers and Beyond logo

When Palos Verdes Library District was charged with creating a large-scale, grant-funded program series for older adults, we knew we would have to be at the top of our marketing game. After all, big programs call for big marketing. 

As much as we love fliers and posters, we knew that this time, they weren't going to meet our marketing needs. Your marketing plan really needs to match the size and amount of programming you’re doing, and it needs to be tailored to the audience you're trying to reach.

Get a Jump on Spring with Gardening Programs at Your Library

nlenstra's picture
hands holding soil with plant growing out of it

For public libraries and community partners across North America, February is prime time for gardening programs. There are many types of gardening programs you can offer, and many partners you can work with to develop them. 

A quick survey of the gardening programs being offering this February and March in North America reveals that libraries are offering:

Programs for Maternal Health

jcarson's picture
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.

Partnerships: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

lishizaka's picture
A man and a woman shake hands over a table

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?

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