Posts filed under ‘Articles’

New Study on Postsecondary Participation Among Older Adults

Diantha Schull writes:

Lifelong Access Colleagues,

With the turn of the New Year, we are all focusing on the key roles that libraries can play in the lives of 50+ adults, especially in the context of increased longevity and worsened economic conditions.  A new study by the American Council on Education underscores the importance of post-secondary education opportunities for older adults.    This study may be helpful to you as you consider lifelong learning programs in 2009 at your library.   It may also be helpful in framing the issues for your conversations with Trustees, colleagues and community partners.

Best wishes for 2009!


January 16, 2009 at 10:44 pm 4 comments

Fellow Spotlight: Abigail Elder

2007 Fellow and 2008 Stories from the Field presenter, Abigail Elder, is the new “library boss” at Tualatin Public Library . See this article from yesterday’s Oregonian for more about Abigail and her new position.

Congratulations, Abigail, and best of luck with this new adventure!

September 12, 2008 at 5:21 pm 1 comment

Developing Brain Reserves


The issue of brain health and older adults continues to be a hot topic at national conferences, in TV news magazines, on blogs and in print.  This latest article, “Mental Reserves Keep Brain Agile” in the New York Times focuses on the activities necessary to promote brain health even in the face of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  The article features case studies of older adults whose autopsies revealed severe brain abnormalities, yet were active and mentally agile older adults in their day-to-day lives.  The key for these individuals was building mental reserves and mental pathways in order to limit the amount of damage that brain disease could effect. While providing solutions and suggestions for building the brain reserves necessary to maintain brain health (even mentioning the public library as a place for stimulating brain activity), the article also focuses on the physical activity necessary to bolster activities such as puzzles and new language acquisition.  The importance of physical activity to brain health is often absent from the typical brain health discussions.

 These issues of brain reserves, brain activity, and physical activity have been discussed in several Libraries for the Future Lifelong Access Libraries trainings.  Most recently, Dr. Paul Nussbaum presented on this topic at the Transforming Life after 50 Institute – a product of the partnership between the California State Library, the California Library Association, and Libraries for the Future.  The Institute was one element of the larger Transforming Life after 50 Initiative which was launched this summer.  Links to video clips and resources from the Institute will be available soon and posted on this blog –stay tuned.

December 14, 2007 at 10:35 pm 1 comment

Love in Later Life

While issues of lifelong learning, civic engagement, and retirement are prominent in discussions of productive aging for Boomers, the emotional side of aging is often ignored, although often unintentionally.  Last week’s New York Times featured an important and touching article entitled “Love in the Time of Dementia.”  Although the article focuses on personal and intimate relationships as affected by dementia, it also features insights on how the dynamics of love relationships may change as we age. 

While these topics may not be popular or easy to discuss, what resources are provided by your library concerning love and dating in later life?  How have you seen emotional issues such as the ones addressed in the above article play out among your library patrons?

November 27, 2007 at 2:05 am 3 comments

Wall Street Journal Special Retirement Section

This Saturday’s Wall Street Journal featured a special retirement section entitled “Encore.”  The section is an outgrowth of WSJ’s regular retirement column.  The section’s front page article is “The Baby Boomers Guide to Social Security” which highlights social security calculators, strategies and information for the almost 78 million Baby Boomers approaching eligibility next year.  Although the majority of the section is only available to WSJ Online subscribers, the aforementioned article and an interview with Marc Freedman, author of the recent book Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life, are available to all viewers. 

Given the Social Security guide cover story, what resources, reference tools, or programs are your libraries preparing for local Baby Boomers?

November 19, 2007 at 8:58 pm 3 comments

Increased Happiness in Later Life

A recent LA Times article stated that “older people are many times happier in their older life.”  Among other reasons, the report cites life experience, freedom of choices, and appreciation for the remaining years ahead.  Finally, the article suggests that younger audiences can learn from older adults about happiness strategies. 

Does this article suggest possibilities for intergenerational activities?  If so, what are some models or ideas that may be successful?

Full Article: Emotionally, the Best May Be Yet to Come, LA Times – October 15, 2007

October 19, 2007 at 7:57 pm 1 comment


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