Sit and Be Fit at the Library: Rotating Resources


A California State Library LSTA grant program intended to facilitate easy duplication of successful projects

Informational Webinar

Description: This program offers low-impact chair exercise programs to serve older adults and adults with disabilities using video demonstrations from Sit and Be Fit. Rotating program boxes allow for easy implementation at library branches, outreach locations, and senior meal locations in the community. Programming can include conversations about health and wellness specific to this population.

Purpose: Fresno County Public Library’s (FCPL) Sit and Be Fit program seeks to meet the needs of a population that is often geographically isolated or home bound, experiences health problems caused by inactivity, and faces a dearth of programing in their community. They do so by providing an exercise program with opportunities for socializing and conversation in the library and at locations where this population gathers.

Target Audience: Older adults and adults with disabilities who are physically and socially isolated and do not have access to exercise programs, information about health and wellness, and opportunities to engage with the community.

Expected Outcomes: Participants will report an increase in knowledge about health and wellness, more connection with their community and fellow participants, and a better understanding of resources and services provided by the library.

Partnerships: Informal partnerships with community agencies that provide services to seniors, such as Parks & Recreation, the local Area Agency on Aging, caregiver organizations, senior meal sites, and organizations serving people with disabilities allow the library to access expert speakers for programming, locations for programming to occur, and assistance with recruiting participants and promoting the program.

Budget Considerations

  • Program DVDs
  • A/V equipment
  • Program supplies
  • Advertising
  • Kickoff event
  • Staff time

See original grant application for more details, pricing, and in-kind staff estimates. This program is scalable to fewer branches than the original project; maximum funding amount, $17,600, allows for duplication of this program in up to four branches.

Implementation Steps

  • Seek letter of permission
    to show Sit and Be Fit videos. Contact Gretchen Wilson, Chief of Operations at Sit and Be Fit.
  • Order supplies
    for programming kits. Program supplies are purchased from Sit and Be Fit. To order, email Casandra Weldon or call (509) 448-9438. FCPL purchased technology from Best Buy: Sit and Be Fit supplies list (pdf)
  • Contact and coordinate with partners
    FCPL partnered with Fresno PARCS to offer programs at community centers. For speakers, presenters were recruited and vetted through the local Area Agency on Aging. Additional tips on working with partners for this program: Sit and Be Fit partnering tips (pdf)
  • Develop Marketing Campaign
    In addition to social media, FCPL made sure to use word-of-mouth, print flyers, and newspaper ads to reach their target audience. (Social media might not be as effective to reach all older audiences.) Sit and Be Fit Class Flier, Sit and Be Fit Kickoff flier, Sit and Be Fit Press Release, Elder Abuse Flier (pdfs). Sample Facebook post, Sample Twitter post. See the Marketing section of this site for more information about marketing programming.
  • Photo of a small screen, a blue plastic box, a projector, an extension cord, a power strip, a portable speaker, a DVD player, and several DVDs. Assemble program kit
    when supplies and technology are delivered. FCPL finds tabletop screens to be very effective.
  • Train staff
    The best way to train staff is to demonstrate the program from start to finish for all who will facilitate: Sit and Be Fit staff training tips (pdf)
  • Schedule program
    Work with partners to determine best time to offer programming. Avoid conflicts with other popular events. Programs offered before lunch at congregate meals sites are a good way to catch participants, and morning events work better at most locations with this population. See Sit and Be Fit Class Flier for FCPL’s schedule.
  • Space needs
    Make sure programming space has a table for the screen with electrical power nearby. Chairs are set up in rows with room for movement, and carpet is ideal but not required. Lighting should be moderate to allow viewing of screen and safe movement. Consider room temperature: air conditioning is often preferred. A separate room is nice for privacy, but some locations found more people willing to join when they could see the program in action.
  • Program implementation
    Sit and Be Fit sessions are much more than just turning on a video. Learn from FCPL with Sit and Be Fit programming hints (pdf)
  • Evaluation
    Survey attendees to assess the success of the programs. See example: Sit and Be Fit survey