“Our patrons have absolutely loved this passive programming. We have had numerous people comment on how much fun they had and have asked when a new story will be displayed.”
By Lindy Moore, Library Services Director, Douglas County Public Libraries
The Douglas County Public Libraries have considered creating story strolls for several years, but the cost of permanent displays was not in the budget. The county’s three libraries are located about 30 minutes west of Atlanta and are part of the West Georgia Regional Library System.
When public libraries in Georgia were given the opportunity to borrow Story Stroll kits from Georgia Public Library Service, we jumped at the chance! Each kit contains a different children’s picture book, with one spread from an engaging children’s book per display panel. Each story’s panel also includes a QR code to enable those who are visually impaired to access an audio version.
Over the past few months, all three of our libraries have hosted GPLS Story Strolls. Our patrons have absolutely loved this passive programming. We have had numerous people comment on how much fun they had and have asked when a new story will be displayed. At our Dog River branch, families have walked the trail, had a picnic lunch, and made a day of it enjoying the stories as a family. One community member commented on Facebook that he and his kids “stumbled upon the Story Stroll and had a great time. I think we traveled the trail three times!”
The Story Stroll kits have motivated our libraries to seek funding to place our own stories in various locations around Douglas County including parks, senior centers, our downtown square, and local elementary schools. We are so thankful for this opportunity and encourage all libraries to give it a try.
About the Story Stroll kits: In 2022, Georgia Public Library Service launched 12 Story Stroll kits that public libraries in Georgia can check out to host local events. Story Strolls are a fun way to host outdoor programming for your patrons and engage your local community. This family activity combines literacy, exercise, and nature. Any public library in Georgia may check out one of Georgia Public Library Service’s Story Stroll kits for up to 35 days (plus one renewal if desired).
This project is among the first of its kind, enabling libraries across the state that may not have the funding to be able to implement a Story Stroll activity locally. Only library staff, not patrons, can check out a kit, but patrons can ask their librarian to request one. Each kit contains a different children’s picture book, with one spread from an engaging children’s book per display panel. Each story’s panel also includes a QR code to enable those who are visually impaired to access an audio version. Libraries can set these up outdoors and plan related programming to engage their community.
This project was made possible through federal ARPA funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.