Thanks to Valerie from Ladysmith for sharing this wonderful guest blog post about creating a StoryWalk® for Ladysmith.
I had the idea a couple of years ago when I first saw a library with a StoryWalk®. They were using lawn signs, which are great, but I wanted something more permanent. I wanted to put it along our Wetland Trail, but unfortunately it has been unusable the past 2 years because of heaving in the spring, and I also didn’t have the funds to cover a project of this size.
Then the Servite Center for Life gave me a large grant early this year to use for events and activities involving youth. Then COVID hit and I knew I wouldn’t be doing in person events for the summer so I wanted to do something special for our patrons. The Parks Department installed a new trail that starts right outside the lower level of the library and continues through OJ Falge Park. It was the perfect opportunity to go ahead with this project I had been thinking about for a few years! So I spoke with my director and then I had to present to the Library Board and the Park Board. Luckily a member of the Library Board is also on the Park Board so that part was easy. She was very pleased with the idea when I presented it at the Library Board and got me on the agenda for the next Park Board meeting. I presented at the Park Board and asked the Parks Department to pay for the installation of the posts, and they agreed. I paid for the posts and Public Works had them installed. I asked a local woodworker (who is also my husband’s uncle… and this is not the first project I have roped him into… it can be very dangerous to know me) to build the signs for me. He did so at cost – which was paid for by the Servite Center for Life. Then I made a couple of informational signs and laminated the story. I chose Bunny’s Book Club for our first month. It’s a cute story about a bunny who loves stories so much he breaks into the library, and then invites his friends as well! They get caught by the librarian and everyone gets a library card. Hooray!
It cost a bit over $1,200 for the posts, installation of the posts, the materials for the signs to hold the pages, 2 copies of the book, and lamination. In the future I will just have to pay for 2 copies of the book I’m using and lamination. There may be some upkeep with the sings – especially the acrylic – but I don’t expect it to be too costly.
The story starts just outside the lower level of the library and continues on until the fishing dock. We plan to put a new story out every month until the winter.