Monday, July 8, 2019

Our First StoryWalk!

This summer, a professional dream of mine came true. Our library put in our first StoryWalk at a local park. I have always wanted to do one and I'm so grateful that my colleagues were so supportive of the idea. It was truly a team effort!

Our first story in the StoryWalk is A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin. She's one of my all-time favorite authors and this story fit in perfectly with our summer reading theme, A Universe of Stories. 

While you can create StoryWalk posts a number of different ways, our library had funding to order premade frames from StoryWalk Solutions. Our Floyd County Parks & Recreation folks installed them for us and they look really nice. Each frame unscrews at the bottom so you can change out the story. 

Our amazing marketing coordinator / graphic artist designed the spreads and we physically took apart a couple of copies of the book and glued them in before laminating them to create the spreads for each frame. This was a ton of work and we will definitely be seeking out permissions to use digital images for future stories so that we can create the spreads as digital files and then just print and laminate them. 

On each spread, Ms. J and I came up with some kind of physical activity or dialogic reading question / talking prompt to encourage interaction and discussion as families walk along the StoryWalk together. 

The walking path at this park is about three quarters of a mile and we ordered 20 posts, which is what I am told is the usual amount that libraries order. For A Big Mooncake for Little Star, that allowed us to include the entire book, plus an extra post in the middle where we placed a little activity break. Post 1 has the cover and info about the StoryWalk. Post 2 has the gorgeous endpapers. Posts 3-19 have the spreads from the story with one "activity break" in the middle (Post 13 below). And Post 20 has Grace Lin's author's note and more library info. 

This is a permanent installation and we plan on changing out the featured stories quarterly-ish. My hope is that we'll be able to install more StoryWalks in our community!

I know you probably have questions, so hit me up in the comments and I'll write a follow-up post to answer everything. And if you have a StoryWalk in your community, I would love to know what's worked for you and what your favorite stories have been! 

ETA (April 2021): The question I'm asked most often about StoryWalks is how to get permission from publishers to reprint picture books for use in StoryWalks and I finally have a post all about it! Click through to read more about that!

The second most frequently asked question I get asked is if I can provide the beautiful layout designed by our talented Marketing Coordinator and I'm afraid the answer to that is thank you for agreeing it's beautiful, but no.