Welcome back to the Lifelong Libraries Blog!
Building on the excitement generated by this summer’s Lifelong Institute, I will be working with Steve Ristau, Hagar Shirman and all of you Lifelong Access Fellows- some 75 of you have participated in one of three national Institutes- to renew this blog and to make it a useful forum for information exchange among you. Our plan is to organize it around fundamental questions or issues that address your efforts to transform community librarianship as it relates to adult services for baby boomers and other active older adults.
Your stories, advice, and support are essential to enrich the growing community of Lifelong Access leaders. To begin. . .
We ended the 2008 Institute with Fellows sharing their “elevator pitches” to key stakeholder groups- their management and staff, advisory or governing bodies, and to boomers themselves. Here is what we heard from the 2008 class:
Making the case to the community:
“Public libraries are essential in helping individuals and communities navigate an ever more complex culture with less and less social social services. If we can successfully engage boomers, they can help ensure that libraries evolve in relevant and cost effective ways for future generations to come and sustain a democratic society of informed, engaged and skilled citizens. Can we count on you to support our library initiative?”
Making the case to potential partners:
“You know we have health information. And because we’re neutral ground and have trained librarians, the information can be trusted. But, did you know the library is also a brain health center? We stimulate minds, connect generations and collect legacies of wisdom. We can reduce unnecessary emergency room visits with information, by reducing loneliness and keeping minds active. Let’s talk about how we can partner.”
Making the case to colleagues and/or the board:
“We’re reaching out to a new and expanded population.This group has high expectations for themselves and for what library services they feel they should be offered. We have such a strong infrastructure for youth services, and we should be bringing an equally strong commitment to our adults as well. This advocacy is important because it has long-term implications due to longer life spans. This is a way to cultivate a powerful advocacy through votes, money, and influence.”
If you have had the opportunity to “make your case” to colleagues, the board, or the community, what were the most effective discussion tools for you? (Fellows from 2006 and 2007 as well may recall how they made their case when they returned home.)
Please click on “add comment” to share your ideas, experiences and stories about both challenges and successes in communicating the importance of new approaches to older adult services.
And, don’t forget to:
- Look at the curriculum materials from the 2008 Institute posted on the website
- Send us your recommendations for new resources to add to the website, and
- Let us know your successes and challenges as you develop your Lifelong Access Library.
The work you are all doing to create new models for older adult services is timely, important and “in the air.” We applaud your groundbreaking efforts.
Diantha D. Schull
Consulting Director, Lifelong Access Libraries