Healthy Living at the Library

Programs for All Ages

by Noah Lenstra


A step-by-step guide to starting, running, and sustaining healthy living programs.

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Cover image for Healthy Living at the Library

March 2020

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 185
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Adult Services and Programs
  Children's and Young Adult Programs
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This broad-ranging resource is for librarians who want to begin a new program or incorporate healthy living into an existing one.

From garden plots to cooking classes, StoryWalks to free yoga, more and more libraries are developing innovative programs and partnerships to encourage healthy living. Libraries increasingly provide health and wellness programs for all ages and abilities, and Healthy Living at the Library is intended for library staff of all types who want to offer programs and services that foster healthy living, particularly in the domains of food and physical activity.

Author Noah Lenstra, who has extensive experience directing and advising on healthy living programs, first outlines steps librarians should take when starting programs, highlighting the critical role of community partnerships. The second section of the book offers detailed instructions for running different types of programs for different ages and abilities. A third section includes advice on keeping the momentum of a program going and assess program impacts. Lenstra offers tips on how to overcome challenges or roadblocks that may arise. An appendix contains resources you can adapt to get these programs off the ground, including waivers of liability, memoranda of understanding, and examples of strategic plans and assessment tools.


  • Learn how to start, run, and sustain healthy living programs
  • Get inspired to develop new programs based on the successes of librarians throughout North America
  • Determine how to overcome challenges and roadblocks
  • Refer to practical resources you can adapt for your own library
Author Info

Noah Lenstra directs the Let's Move in Libraries initiative from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he is a faculty member of library and information studies. He has served on the Public Library Association's Health Literacy National Advisory Board, and his research on healthy physical activity promotion in public libraries has been published in Library Quarterly, Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, and the Journal of Library Administration, among others. He blogs for Public Libraries Online and the Programming Librarian and is always up to try a new form of physical activity.

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