Increasing Library Usage Through Fitness Programs for Children
It comes as no surprise that public libraries are hurting for patrons. Library usage has been steadily declining since the 1990s. Not only has the digital age allowed patrons to access information more readily through high-speed internet search engines, but studying, reading, and writing your memoir in a coffee shop has made study spaces obsolete. Instead of walking or driving to the library to borrow a book, look at a journal, or study in a quiet space, Americans are using their Kindles, searching Google Scholar, or going to Starbucks (where you can enjoy the latest Twilight with a Venti Mocha Latte, no foam). Along with less and less patrons using their services, public libraries are finding their budgets cut in favor of more “pressing” public services.
So how do we stop libraries from becoming the next Clear Coke? Some are attempting to adapt to the modern times by increasing the amount of computers and Internet access, or even purchasing Nintendo Wiis and Playstation Moves. However, there are other, healthier, ways to attract our youngsters to the local library. The town libraries of Dover and Billerica, Massachusetts have contracted yours truly to inspire athletics in the local children. Every week we pack the Dover Town Library’s multipurpose room with basketball nets, soccer nets, scooters, gymnastics mats, balancing stones, bikes, bObles, Rodys, child sized exercise equipment, and other unique equipment to promote healthy play and, at the same time, encourage the community to use their library resource. Parents and children who come to the library for Knuckle Bones programming stay after to read in the children’s room, play with the library mascot, and borrow books. So, if you believe in our cause, have your local librarian contact Knuckle Bones, or if you are around Dover, come down and play every Thursday Morning at 10:30 until February 10th.