Saturday, January 31, 2015

Let's go on a StoryWalk®

About a year ago or more I saw some chatter about StoryWalks on Facebook.  I thought - "How cool is THAT?" but could not figure out how to get one at my current location.  Since then, I became a Head Librarian of a different location, one directly on the bike trail, and knew it was time to give it a try.

StoryWalk® is a trademarked program, and belongs to the folks at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Vermont.  This idea is *NOT* Library Village's idea nor do we take any credit or money for our Story Walks.  If you would like to learn about this amazing program's roots, Click HERE.  If you want to see some FAQ's on the program which will help you make your own, Click HERE.  Essentially, if you credit the creator properly, you are free to use the idea in a not-for-profit setting like a library.

Here's what the credit would look like:

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.

OK, essentially a StoryWalk® is a way for families to read together outside, promoting literacy and fitness.  The pages of a book are laminated and mounted on stakes and presented one at a time down a trail or throughout a park. They can be spaced as close or as far apart as needed.  Families can stroll from one page to the next, or you can encourage movement from one to the next like hopping or skipping.

For our first StoryWalk®, I laminated the pages of Duck on a Bike by David Shannon, mounted them on foam core with velcro, and then mounted those on wooden stakes.  We did not make the sets as sturdy as the ones listed on the Kellogg-Hubbard library but this is because our StoryWalk® is designed for use near the library and for only hours, so weather is not a factor.  With a little help from our Friends group, we have now done 3 StoryWalk®s and can easily make more.  I try to use books that are about the same size each time - and reuse the rest of the materials.

The approximate cost breaks down like this for us:
Two books from the used book store - $6
Velcro - $10
Wooden Stakes - 8 foot long cut in two - $15
Foam Core cut in half - $15

The response has been wonderful!  Families have said they love the books we choose, and love the idea.  We keep the library copies of the books on display and families like to take them home.  Our library has been asked to continue the program at all events, and other branches have asked to borrow our  StoryWalk®s for their events as well.

We have done three StoryWalk®s in 2014 in three different ways.  Duck on a Bike was at our Summer Reading Kickoff party with the story pages about 15-20 feet apart down our bike trail.  Next, at the end of the summer, we used The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear at a festival in town.  We placed the pages around the perimeter of the festival.  Finally we did an indoor StoryWalk® at Christmas Time!  We used T'was the Night Before Christmas at an in-house and after hours event. No stakes or boards were necessary for this event.  Besides, our Duck on a Bike set was on loan to another library event at the time.  Once you have the first kit, adding books to your collection is a breeze.

Things we learned from our StoryWalk® program were: know your soil - the soil nearby struggled to hold the stakes, so we modified this by using buckets with the stakes secured inside.  Also, our lamination is standard for indoor use so rain will ruin the pages.  You can see below how one of our arrows had gotten wet over the summer. I'll be making more arrows soon.  Finally, Velcro is great for making the StoryWalk® reusable, but not great on a windy day.  Keep your weather and the direction of your stakes in mind.

For more information on StoryWalk®  please visit the Kellogg-Hubbard Library Page.  I'd be happy to answer any questions as well.  They are only limited by your imagination.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Love this idea! Thank you for taking the time to spell it out for us!

  2. What did you use to mount the laminated book pages to the foam core board?

    1. We used velcro so we could change out the stories and resuse the foam core. It has been very useful that was - especially for reusing the stories at our other locations. We are careful to place the velcro in the same place on each story so they are interchangeable. Good Luck!