Spotlight Program: Senior Fitness Class and Chair Yoga

Yoga, double exposure by Victor TondeeAt CMLE, we so enjoy all our different types of libraries, archives, and other members! Seeing all the work you are doing is so inspiring; and we want to return the favor by helping you to find some of the great programming going on around the profession.

Each week we will share an interesting program we find. It may inspire you to do exactly the same thing; or to try something related; or just to try out some different programming ideas.

Most of our libraries would have seniors in their community, so doing some programming specifically for them is always a good idea! (Think broadly about your potential community; could elementary school students do some yoga with their grandparents or some volunteer grandparents?)

Check out this article from Programming Librarian, by Jane Schweinsburg, Assistant Director, Coventry Public Library, R.I.

“Since many older adult patrons can’t make it to Coventry Public Library’s in-house programs, we decided to offer both a senior fitness class and a chair yoga class at the Coventry Housing Authority, which is conveniently located near the senior living center. We run the classes twice a week for six weeks, and the seniors are always begging for more!

We have a very active adult program at our library, but the elderly don’t always have transportation. Programs are often at night when they don’t want to go out, and we felt we could expand our programs to the whole community by not only offering a senior fitness class, but offering a chair yoga class as well.

We were going to have the classes in our building, but we don’t have an activities room, and since we share the building with Town Hall we have to use the Council Chambers for programs. Those aren’t always available, so we started looking elsewhere.

We talked to the senior center, but the community rooms at the local Housing Authority facilities were better, and the Housing Authority was already looking for activities. That’s worked out very well because some of the folks come from the community, but some of the folks come from the housing units right by the Housing Authority.

We started chair yoga in 2016 and the fitness classes in 2017. The instructors for both of those classes came to us asking if we would want them to teach a class.


We get the word out mostly through The Reminder (a local shopper’s weekly), our own newsletter, our website and posters that we put up around town. Word of mouth works well too, especially because the seniors all live together.

Budget Details

We don’t pay anything for our rent, so our only cost is the instructor’s fee. She charges $35/hour, and twice a week for six weeks ends up amounting to $420. We alternate the fitness and yoga sessions so we are never paying both instructors at the same time.

Day-of-event Activity

The maintenance and janitorial staff at the Housing Authority set everything up for us, so we don’t have to do anything on the days of the classes. That staff ends up being very helpful. We couldn’t have class this week because of a snowstorm, so the Housing Authority called everybody in the senior housing development to tell them we didn’t have class.

Once the class starts, the instructor does all the work. She teaches them different exercises, and if it’s the senior’s first session, she has them sign a waiver.

Program Execution

We feel like this program has been a successful way to reach the older community. We get about 20 people each class.

At the end of the last session one of the gals wrote a lengthy thank-you note to the instructor. The instructor has a great sense of humor and is always laughing, so it works out to be a very pleasant class.”

Check out the rest of this article! Can you adapt it into your library?? It sounds like it could be fun!

TIES Conference Report: Holly Nelson

This is a guest post from Holly Nelson, Media Specialist at Kennedy Community School. Need a scholarship to attend a conference or participate in Professional Development? Apply today! 

Attending the annual TIES Conference provided me the opportunity to experience an array of multiple educational initiatives and innovations all in one event.  As a school librarian, I’m cognizant of the vastly changing role of libraries within schools and the learning I experienced was beneficial for my personal professional development but more importantly for the staff and students at my school.

I was able to learn about a new technology integration initiative we’ve now begun at my school.  The SeeSaw tool is used now with teachers, students, and parents to share student learning and build student digital learning portfolios.  Learning from other educators who are using this tool also opened a communication network between multiple professionals and collaborative opportunities.  I am now able to provide support to all users of this new tool and/or extend my support beyond the walls of our school.

The various topics available for exploration at TIES was invaluable. Sharing my knowledge of computational thinking using coding in the “Digital Playground” was a great way to network with other educators. Another great resource that I learned at TIES is how to help students using their 1:1 iPads to create book commercials for an engaging way for students to share their learning. I can’t thank CMLE enough for this chance I received to learn and help grow my school library and its vital role in education.


Book Suggestions: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We love to read books, and to talk about books. Check out our entire series here! Need more book chatting and suggestions in your life? Listen to our Books and Beverages podcast!

I’ve been making an effort to read more African American literature, and also to select books that fit our CMLE 2018 Reading Challenge! Americanah fulfills both these requirements, and I’m finding it incredibly interesting. I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about Nigerian culture and also more about the immigrant experience. The writing is really witty and observant, so I’m enjoying this one so far!

From Goodreads: “As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalized world.”

Episode 303: Hiring and Staffing

Now Hiring

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(Note: Lady Grey was in-house while we recorded this episode; so the parts that sound particularly great may have been influenced by her calming presence!)

Welcome to another episode of Linking Our Libraries! This week our Guest Host is Carla Lydon, director of the East Central Library System here in Minnesota.

If you like libraries, archives, or history centers; or if you work in a nonprofit; or if you just want to learn more about management and leadership, you are in the right place!

We are the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange, and our job is to help libraries! We are a multitype library system, with member libraries of all sorts: public, schools, academics, special libraries, archives, and history centers. Yes – we are pretty lucky!

This season we are looking at a variety of topics related to management and leadership. Our focus is on libraries, but our topics are relevant to all types of nonprofits working to improve their leadership skills.

Do you want to talk with us about a topic? Want us to set up some training for you? Check out our website under “Can We Help You?” and let’s talk!

First we are going to look at a somewhat idealized hiring process. Every library varies in how they are able to hire: some have no input and a new person is just plopped into the library, some have complete freedom to structure their hiring as they want. Hopefully, the steps we look at today will happen, at some level!

One of the most important things a manager can do for an organization is to hire well. You need good staff to have a well-functioning organization, and a bad hire – one that brings in an unskilled, unmotivated person, or person who spends time complaining, giving bad customer service, or just doing poor work – can throw the whole place into chaos. The cost of a bad hire can be very high, and this problem can be very difficult to fix. A good hire will do good work, and add to the positive organizational environment you want to build!

Hiring and staffing are extremely important challenges any library needs to face; and making good decisions, bringing in good people, and getting them deployed to best serve the mission of the library are crucial! It is tough to do, but if you have questions you can always check in with us here at!

Tune in next Thursday for our next episode of Linking Our Libraries, where we keep going with our discussion of management and leadership topics.

Do you need more books in your life? Sure you do! Subscribe to our Books and Beverages book group podcast. Each week we look at a different genre, chat with our guests about their book suggestions, and sip our beverages. It is always good to find a new book!


Learning About Library Associations: Atlantic Provinces Library Association

Library science is an enormous field, home to every interest you could imagine! This means that there are many organizations out there for you to join, in order to connect with other people who share your professional interests.

So even if you work alone in your library, there are other people out there doing work similar to yours! Each week we will highlight a different library association for you to learn more about, and depending on your work, potentially join! You can also check out our page dedicated to Library Associations.

Let’s learn about the Atlantic Provinces Library Association (APLA) this week. The Atlantic Provinces include New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. The mission of APLA is to “promote the interests of libraries in the Atlantic provinces while fostering the development of librarians, library technicians and information professionals through cooperative efforts and the promotion of library interests.”

APLA’s mission statement and strategic goals are:

  1. Regional Voice Role To structure and position APLA so that the Association can effectively serve its mandate as a regional voice.
  2. Communication To improve internal and external communications.
  3. Value of Libraries To promote the value and worth of the library and its workers.
  4. Interest Groups To improve the effectiveness of the interest groups.
  5. Continuing Education To develop an effective continuing education programme.

APLA is holding their annual conference from June 6th – 9th this year in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Their theme for the 2018 conference is Libraries in Action!

Learn more about APLA by exploring their digital archives. Check out the many different awards they offer. Subscribe to their listserv to stay on top of library news in Atlantic Canada.

APLA membership comes with many benefits, including the Education Institute, access to The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, use of the Partnership Library Job Board, and a discounted rate for attendance at the APLA annual conference.

Learn more about how to become a member of APLA on their membership page!

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