3 Minute Overview from Virginia Beach, VA
Carolyn Caywood, 2008 Lifelong Fellow and librarian at the Bayside Special Services Library in Virginia Beach, prepared this 3-minute overview of her Lifelong Libraries project for the Virginia Beach Public Library management team:
Senior Services Plan
Image: Whistler’s Mother at 67
- What assumptions do we have about “seniors”? [feedback from audience]
- We need to get past these assumptions and explore possibilities, see positive aspects of aging. What can we as library users hope for, as we grow older?
Image: Westminster Canterbury Calendar
- Life after 65 has changed. Boomers are better educated, more diverse, and more likely to live through their 70s than any previous generation. But Boomers will not use libraries and reading in the same ways that their parents did.
- Life for older adults can be a time of liberation, creativity, wisdom, and community-building. Libraries are uniquely qualified to facilitate these positive aspects of aging.
- The large population who will “age in place” in Virginia Beach will drive public policy decisions about land use, transportation, and tax revenues.We must engage these older adults in support of City services rather than in competition with other service needs.
- Boomers are predicted to work in retirement and we need to adapt our expectations of volunteering and part time jobs to take advantage of their expertise. We need to support “re-careering” aspirations in addition to leisure reading and lifelong learning.
- BUT, if this continuing-to-work prediction is wrong, tax revenues will drop while demands on government services will rise, leaving little money for libraries. And many aging Boomers will live in or near poverty.
- The actions proposed in this plan require time, attention and commitment more than expenditures. Bayside and Special Services Library will use an advisory group of citizens as a sounding-board to evaluate actions. Generally BASS will pilot the action and evaluate it.