This week I am participating in a librarian Awesome-fest called, fittingly, “Show Me the Awesome”. As you may have guessed, it is all about the awesomeness happening in libraries — because of the librarians! It was an idea hatched by Kelly, Liz, and Sophie; you can find links to all participating librarians on those blogs. You can spread the word by tagging your related posts with #30awesome on Twitter, Tumblr, Vine and/or Instagram if you’re liking what you’re reading and want to talk about it!
And now… my bit of Awesome.
I want to tell you about StoryWalk ™. You can read all about how it works on the ALSC blog, on this post from June 2012. Basically, StoryWalk ™ is this: a picture book is posted along a walking path. As you walk, you read the story. It can be that simple– just the pages of a book along a path. Or you can ramp it up and create signboards with replicated pages, and add some activities to go along with the walk. That’s how we did it. And it is awesome. Nothing like seeing a bunch of kids (and adults) jumping, running, skipping, and reading at the same time.
But even more awesome, and what I wanted to share here, is the cooperation that happened in order for our StoryWalk ™ to happen. first off, I had to get the publisher’s permission. The folks at Tundra were super nice and happy to work with me on this. The illustrator loved the project, and because he is a local guy (one of the reasons I chose this book!), he was around to help us with the launch. Kirsten Cappy at Curious City was fantastic in sharing her ideas and how-to tips. The local recreation departments helped me come up with the activities. The towns and park staff where we installed the story boards got everything done just right. Funding came from the Community Health Boards.
So yes, the kids love it. Parents love it. I get emails from people who stopped in on vacation and want to know how they can get one in their community. It is a feel-good project that makes for good press. And it only happened because of a Good Idea from Vermont, and a whole lot of people putting in some effort. I organized the whole thing – I wrote the grant, I did the legwork in getting the boards designed and printed, I got permission from the publisher, etc. But I did not do all the work! Sharing & partnerships is where the awesome comes in.
Just like this idea of Show Me the Awesome — yes, we are promoting the cool and awesome things we’ve done. But I can guarantee that some librarian somewhere is going to read about another Good Idea as a result, and the awesome is just going to continue!