Libraries in the Woods (LITW) is a collaborative entity made up of 28 local rural libraries. The genesis of this group has its roots in collaborating on community reads in 2019 and 2020. The programming for the latter, which was almost completely scheduled during April and May, ended up being either cancelled or re-imagined due to the advent of the COVID-19 virus. A week or two into the pandemic, the members of LITW began meeting weekly via Zoom, to discuss everything, from the latest information regarding virus transmission, ventilation systems, quarantine procedures, minutia of virtual programming, shared programming, and anything else that would enable us to keep our patrons and staffs safe while also offering full access to all library holdings and engaging programs and services. This group has been an invaluable source of support, information, and inspiration, and continues to be so, as members continue to gather virtually twice a month.
In the spring of 2022 Libraries in the Woods featured Kristin Kimball’s The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love. Each participating library offered programming that supported the themes of farming, agriculture, gardening, pollinators, seed saving, farm animals, and more. Cushman hosted tours and visits at seven local farms that are either female owned or female driven in tandem with family members and/or friends. They were interesting and inspiring, and really enjoyable!
During August 2022, eight LITW members are participating in Art in August, a self-guided tour taking folks to each of these libraries to enjoy a wide array of artistic endeavors. Cushman’s facet of this tour is an exhibit of artwork from all ages of community members created throughout the years, Art from All Ages & Times.
We look forward to our future collaborations with this vibrant group of local libraries!