Step into the New Year with “The Walking Library” series

Story provided by Stillwater Public Library

Need help keeping up with New Years’ resolutions? The Stillwater Public Library will offer a new series of walking programs that combine learning, community, and exercise. “The Walking Library” covers a wide variety of topics including book discussions, child and personal development, local government, and more. The series runs from Feb.-July, 2020.

According to Library Director Stacy DeLano, the library wants to help people find creative ways to fit exercise into a regular routine.

“At the beginning of the year we are all trying to find ways to take better care of ourselves, and that can be challenging. Everyone is so busy,” said DeLano.  “By adding a walking component to something you already want to do, like attend a library program, you get to take care of your body and your brain at the same time.”

Small groups will use special headsets that allow participants to listen to a speaker and ask questions while walking at a moderate pace along trails in local parks and around the library.

DeLano cites additional benefits to listening while being active.

“Recent studies have shown that we retain information better while exercising,” DeLano said. “Learning about this helped us decide on what direction we wanted to go with this year’s health literacy series.”

The series has been made possible by a grant funded by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The library has now received the grant four years in a row.

“In previous years we focused on healthy eating, getting kids active, and other general health topics,” said DeLano. “This year we wanted to help people find ways to fit exercise into their day.”

“The Walking Library” begins with two in-library programs that focus on the essentials of walking led by Joni O’Neil, fitness supervisor at Total Health. The program takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 10 a.m. and then repeats Thursday, Feb. 6, at 6 p.m.

The format for the opening programs deviates from the rest of the series. Rather than walking, participants will attend a sit-down class that provides information on walking safely, hydration, stretching, and walking gear. 

The first 80 people to register for one of these two classes will receive a free water bottle at the program. Everyone who attends gets a chance to win one of two $50 gift cards for the purchase of athletic shoes.

“Anyone who plans to enroll in one of our topic walks should plan to attend one of the introductory sessions,” DeLano said. “Joni will provide the essential information that will keep you walking safely and healthfully. Most importantly, she will help you understand how to integrate walking into your everyday activities.”

“The Walking Library” series covers a wide variety of topics, and a few of the programs have a regular day and time each month.

  • Walking Book Club – Second Tuesdays, Stillwater Public Library, 12-1 p.m. Read and discuss books while walking
  • Walk-Outs – Fourth Mondays, Couch Park, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Learn how to get the most out of a walking workout with instructors from Total Health
  • Babies @ Boomer – Second Fridays, Boomer Lake, 9:30-11:30 a.m. New parents learn about and discuss Montessori, nutrition, and more while walking with their babies

Additional “The Walking Library” topics include talks with local officials, business, finance, genealogy, nature, historic tours, and more. 

The walks are limited by the number of headsets available. Registration is required. February registrations are open now, with additional registrations opening monthly on the 15th of every month.

Get more information about “The Walking Library” and register for programs at Attendees may also register in person at the Help Desk or by calling (405) 372-3633 x8106.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.