Library Storywalks

Someone once said that the path to enlightenment is paved with books. Yet, who knew that you could literally walk through a topic at your library. A StoryWalk is an immersive activity involving both physical and digital parts of the library’s collection. It inspires patrons through photos, documents, literature, and audiovisual means. Participants can walk through the life of a young Jewish girl living in Europe, delve deep into the mythologies of many different cultures, or explore the many different aspects of the world of forensics.

The StoryWalk program was created in 2007, by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont. Thanks to her collaborating with her local library and their collective efforts, StoryWalks have been installed in all 50 states across the country as well as around the world.  StoryWalks have become a movement within the library world for the past several years. In most cases, the public library will take a children’s book and dismantle it to create several stations along a walking path, through a park or a city allowing children and adults to combine their love of the outdoors with healthy activities and reading.

The Freeman Lozier Library, located on campus, has enjoyed offering many different types of literary opportunities for the Bellevue University community, ranging from book clubs to speaker presentations. However, our favorite by far is our StoryWalks. Our program is a little different then what you would normally find at your local library. Rather than dismantling a book, we create several in-depth multi-part displays showcasing different areas of one central topic. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the library has planned four StoryWalks that focus on several topics. Our first StoryWalk took place in August, and it focused on the topic of forensics, it included displays on area such as forensics and digital forensics, crime scene investigation, true crime, and fictional forensics such as the show CSI. The library’s second StoryWalk was released in November and focused on mythology, where we took an in-depth look at mythologies from Greek, Norse, Egyptian, and Celtic cultures and histories.  Our third and most recent StoryWalk premiered in February and focuses on women inventors, where we included an amazing poster exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution. Our fourth StoryWalk for this year will debut in May and will focus on Jewish history and showcase several different topics encompassing history and culture.

The goal of the library’s StoryWalk program is to help the Bellevue University community to experience new and exciting ideas, and to share new and wonderful knowledge, experiences, interests, and skills. StoryWalks are not only a way to start a conversation to share the love of reading, but it is also a way to share your knowledge with someone else to preserve it for the future. The Bellevue University Library is excited to be a place where the University can provide new experiences and wonderful ideas for our community. For more information about this and other amazing events provided by the library staff, please contact us by email at library@bellevue.edu or by phone at (402) 557-7313.

Originally posted in the Freeman/Lozier Library’s quarterly newsletter, More Than BooksV. 25 No. 2, Spring 2022.

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