Get Your Community Moving: Physical Literacy Programs for All Ages. By Jenn Carson. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2018. 224 p. Paper $54.99 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1725-1)

Carson brings her years of experience with physical literacy programs in libraries and other spaces to create this well thought-out and researched guide to physical literacy programming and its rationale in the library. She makes clear the connection between physical health and mental/emotional well-being, as well as how physical activity can positively affect library staff and patrons alike. The exploration of the mind/body connection and the assertions of the positive connections between the two supported with well-researched facts makes this book worth examining. In particular, the correlation between regular exercise and lowered teen suicide rates should be enough motivation for all libraries to provide these types of programs that engage our communities in physical activity and awareness.

Many libraries are already doing these kinds of programs. As Carson mentions, in a survey of 300 libraries, 65 percent noted that their library offers some programming that encourages physical activity. In addition, the feedback from participants of these activities has been overwhelmingly positive with many patrons coming back for more, which are the stories and statistics that libraries are always looking for. Each chapter in this book tackles a different demographic or program-based idea, such as passive play, physical literacy programs for children and families, and inclusivity. Each chapter provides an overview of the theme and then gives actual programs that Carson has brought to her library, which are adaptable by others. Each program includes a systematic plan, materials required, budget details, and implementation tips, as well as the all-important literacy tie-ins for those who need to justify their physical literacy programs a bit more. Each chapter also features an “Activity All Star” who is highlighted for bringing unique physical literacy programs to their libraries.

This book is recommendable for libraries of all types that are looking to incorporate physical literacy into their current programming. Each chapter allows for modifications of programs based on size and ability and justifies the importance of the activity as well as the intended outcomes. Carson covers various demographics, including the indigenous populations near her Canadian library. A section on taking care of library staff through physical activity in the workplace is especially refreshing—her statistic that office workers have more musculoskeletal injuries than any other industry is sobering and should make all of us want to move more!—Teralee ElBasri, Librarian, La Prade Branch Library, North Chesterfield, Virginia


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