Story Walks, Story Books, Story Readers 3

Appalachian Regional Library has developed a project called “Story Walks, Story Books, Story Readers” to make reading more accessible and fun for children aged four to eight who are not currently library users.  They have created Story Walks in parks, playgrounds, and walking locations throughout their region to bring children and their families to the library as a result of their participation in the Story Walks.  Once the families come to the library, they are provided with library cards, invited to story times, and encouraged to continue reading and using the library. The primary goal of the project is to help more young children in the region engage in enjoyable reading and library experiences. Appalachian Regional Library is a three county library system that includes Ashe, Watauga, and Wilkes Counties.

storywalkintroduction     storywalktrail

The Story Walks project has three major components:

  1. The Story Walk – a self-directed learning opportunity which consists of a deconstructed book (picture, easy reader, or easy juvenile) with each page mounted separately along an outside path, so that the child walks from one page to the next to read the story.  This is a fun way to promote reading, literacy, and movement for the whole family. The books used for the Story Walks will be changed monthly from September through June.
  2. An invitation – to those who have participated in the Story Walk to continue their informal learning opportunity with a library visit where they will be offered a free library card for those without one, a lanyard for their library card, and a chance to win a free copy of the featured book.
  3. E-readers and e-books for 4 to 8 year olds – provided by the library to encourage continued reading and to increase the children’s technology skills.

This unconventional way to experience a book will emphasize the pure fun of reading while at the same time provide a literacy experience (“a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”).  Even if walking and reading just one book is all a child or a family does, it will be a beneficial and a very low cost activity for them to enjoy.

kissinghandbookcover     kissinghandpage

This project was funded as a 2014-2015 EZ Literacy & Lifelong Learning grant. This grant is made possible through funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

3 thoughts on “Story Walks, Story Books, Story Readers

  1. Reply Anne Ferguson Oct 6,2014 8:18 pm


    What a joy it is to see the State Library of North Carolina promote the StoryWalk® Project. Since I created the StoryWalk® Project in 2007 and decided to share the idea freely, it has spread to 48 states and 6 foreign countries. I am always happy to address any questions about the StoryWalk® Project and give advice about the easiest and most cost-effective way to bring it to more communities.

    Thank you for your work and for your support of the StoryWalk® Project.

    All the best,

    Anne Ferguson

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

  2. Reply Shelly Baker Feb 21,2017 9:19 pm

    I am the Public Service Manager at the library in our county. We have wanted to have a story walk for several year and have been working on funding. When I saw your StoryWalk ideas I really liked the way they are mounted. Can you share with me about the frames and instructions on how you mounted them to the posts.
    Thank you for any help you can give on this project.
    Shelly Baker

    • Reply Amanda Johnson Feb 23,2017 3:28 pm

      Hi Shelly,

      Appalachian Regional Library has put together a LibGuide for those who want recreate their own Storywalks. You can find the library’s contact information here.

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