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StoryWalk Through Nature

The City of Boca Raton Public Library’s (BRPL) StoryWalk ® program launched during summer 2020 to provide educational and literary programming to residents. The program was a collaborative effort among BRPL, the Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management Department, the Friends of Boca Raton Public Library and the City of Boca Raton Department of Recreation Services.

Shilo Perlman, BRPL Events and Community Engagement Librarian, explains how the program began: “The Library Manager saw an article about another library that had a homemade StoryWalk® with posters on stakes in their local park. She thought the idea might be good in one of our city parks to encourage family reading. After researching it, we realized that there was an official StoryWalk® movement and that Pondhawk (the natural area adjacent to one of our libraries) would be a perfect location for a permanent installation because we could do educational programs alongside it. Given the number of families visiting the library for storytimes and Summer Reading, we knew that it would be popular, and it was! Once the closures started and so many families had to struggle through online learning, it became more urgent to offer a healthy outdoor activity. It has been so rewarding working on this unique project and seeing how happy it makes our community.”

The library established two StoryWalks,® one at the Pondhawk Natural Area near the Spanish River Library and the other at Serenoa Glade Preserve. The PondHawk Natural Area StoryWalk® has 20 posts, whereas the Serenoa Glade Preserve StoryWalk® consists of 15 posts. The sign posts and page frames are made of  aluminum, with  Plexiglas protecting  the “book pages.”

The library chose the books. When deciding on a book for the StoryWalks,® Perlman  explains, “Books may jump out for numerous reasons – it could be because of the touching story, bright and beautiful illustrations, or it might be just because it is a fun book!”

Books that fit a season or theme are also included for selection, such as a book about a Mexican folktale during Hispanic Heritage Month.                       

The books for each StoryWalk® are changed out every other month.

Photo captions and credits

  • Shilo Perlman directs patrons to StoryWalk.®.
  • Shilo Perlman at the Pondhawk StoryWalk.®
  • Photos courtesy of the Boca Raton Public Library.

imls180.for.panel.jpgMany of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Florida's LSTA program is administered by the Department of State's Division of Library and Information Services.