Episode 20: Season 3- Jenn Carson Adventures in Library & Physical Literacy

By: Andrew Holloway
Published May 13, 2019

Jenn Carson is the library director at the LP Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, NB and is also a yoga teacher. She has a Masters degree from the college of Computing and Informatics from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.

There are 63 public libraries in the province:  5 regional offices, 52 public libraries, 11 public-school libraries (for a total of 63 public branches), a virtual branch and a provincial Books-by-Mail and Talking Book Service for people with print disabilities. Most work independently with municipalities and there are a few that are in schools. They offer services such as digital resources, e-books, audiobooks and a variety of programming as well (aside from just taking books out). 2 libraries just started a program that you can borrow musical instruments-  “The Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library” and it is available at Fredericton Public Library and Nashwaaksis branch. Some have seed libraries as well where you can take seeds out and if you save seeds, you can take them to the library. Other neat things are activity packs in Riverview, and other alternative collections (sewing machines, baking pans, tools, etc).

Physical literacy, like regular literacy, is a skill, which is something you gain from an early age. As you grow, you explore your environment and learn how to move your body in time and space. It’s important in libraries as they’ve become cultural centers, to focus on the whole-person, so they are concerned with whole-person literacy (financial literacy, digital literacy, textual literacy, etc…) of which physical literacy is one component. They are seeing this in terms of kindergarten age kids not being able to cut with scissors or hold a pencil properly, or even sit on a chair, so it is important for libraries to teach physical literacy because if you can’t hold a pencil properly, you can’t write properly and that holds you back for your regular literacy skills.

It’s also important to teach this to older people as well, for example, seniors are coming in to the library and learning how to ballroom dance or run or rock climb!

The NB Public Library system is unique for a variety of reasons, but since we are such a small province, we can share resources and collections across the whole province. We also have a “books by mail” service so if you can’t get to a physical library, the library will mail you a book and you can just send it back when you’re done. This started after the bookmobile service ended and it’s really popular!

Fredericton is starting the Bibliobike this summer too- so you can get a book on the trail, and in Halifax they are going to “books on the beach” so you can attend storytime and check out a book or a magazine while you’re at the beach and bring it back to the library later.

Check out the links below to find your local library and the amazing online resources and tools available to you for free!

Jenn also wrote a book about incorporating physical literacy programs into your programming! It’s called “Get your Community Moving- Physical Literacy Programs for all ages (ALA Editions, 2018)” and you can buy it on her website!

Jenn’s Top 3:
Favourite place- Fundy National Park
Favourite food- Corn on the cob, with butter, salt and pepper

Favourite activity- right now, stand up paddleboarding, and then Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


NB Public Library Service- http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/nbpl.html

Tumble books-  http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/nbpl/collections/content/databases.html
LP Fisher Library Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/L.P.Fisher.Library/

Jenn’s website: www.jenncarson.com

Overdrive: https://elnb-bnnb.overdrive.com/

The Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library: https://makesomemusicfredericton.ca/

Published May 13, 2019
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