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Public Libraries Help Support Resolutions to Get Healthy

by on December 9, 2018

Those looking for new ways to get active this January can do so at their local library. During the month of January, 50 libraries across Devon and four libraries in Torbay, in the United Kingdom, will host events and activities designed to get people of all ages exercising their mind, body and soul. Follow along at #ActiveLibraries.

Active Life, Active Mind, is an annual programming series the library has offered since 2013. This year, over 250 events will place across the county, including everything from Star Wars Yoga to an author talk with Sarah Ashley Neal, author of Emotional Sandwiches. Other programs include knitting groups, walk and talk sessions, Tai Chi, coloring and lego clubs, ballet for the over 50’s crowd, smoothie biking (a stationary bike with a blender hooked up to it), and bollywood dancing. See the full list of activities at https://www.devonlibraries.org.uk/web/arena/health-activelifeactivemind.

photos from the devon library fitness program promotions

Photo used with permission.

Photo used with permission.

Photo used with permission.

This year’s series will be bigger than every previous year, with programs for people of all ages and interests. According to the library’s Communications and Marketing Assistant Rachael Miles, during the last Active Life, Active Mind program series “over 2,500 people attended … with 80% of participants stating that the event helped them to make new connections within their community and 35% stated they were encouraged to be more active.”

Colin Bray, Service Development Manager, said: “The New Year brings a new outlook and new opportunities, but for some, this time of year can be somewhat challenging and isolating. Libraries are the perfect venue to bring people together, our spaces are welcoming and our staff are warm and friendly. [We] encourage people to try new activities and learn new skills or simply to meet like-minded people. The programme helps promote positive mental and physical health and wellbeing through a range of events, working alongside a number of specialist partners. Libraries also signpost to relevant reading material, local services and places for support.”

The library could not do all these programs without the active support of partners, who include the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), Cancer Research UK, Lloyds Pharmacy and The Stroke Association. Each partner has been specially selected for their knowledge and expertise and their role in supporting and advising people to live happy and healthy lives.

Libraries in the United States also offer programs after the holidays to help people with their New Year’s resolutions to try to live more healthily. In Missouri, the Daniel Boone Regional Library’s New Year, New You program involves getting a curated collection of library resources designed just for you. If you share your New Year’s resolutions with the library staff, they will curate a small collection of books and other resources that they will give to you at a special event on January 9. At that event, the library will also discuss the many resources and programs that they offer on an on-going basis to help you achieve your goals.

In Ohio, Clermont County Public Library will offer a series of New Year, New You programs Tuesdays in January, with sessions on “Yoga and other alternative Wellness options for better Health and Fitness.” Also in Ohio, the Huron Public Library offers a special New Year, New You Health Fair on January 5. Participants will be able to “partake in health screenings from Firelands Regional Medical Center, and meet professionals specializing in functional medicine, herbalism, natural foods and supplements, physical fitness, diet, breast health, senior health, and stress relief. Healthy snacks and beverages will be served. All attendees will also be entered to win fabulous, healthy door prizes” In Wisconsin, the Mead Library is offering a six-week series on Tai Chi. In Illinois, the Glenview Library offers an Intro to Square Dance Party on January 12.

Is your library doing special programs to help your community get healthy after the holidays? Let us know in the comments.