Posts filed under ‘Programming’

Creative Age

In Virginia Beach, we have started a weekly program, Tuesdays @ Two, in the afternoon for older adults, though we’re letting people self-select to attend based on the time of day.  Attendance fluctuates with the weather, but this week has been warm and we had 19 people. 

I took the opportunity to experiment.  One inspiration was Gene Cohen’s The Creative Age, which is about much more than the arts but does talk about how his “Liberation Phase” inspires older artists.  I prepared to talk about artists who changed style or methods as they aged, especially how they dealt with disabilities, like Renoir who had rheumatoid arthritis. 

Another inspiration was the movie, In Winter Still, that I saw in the ALA exhibits last summer.  An excerpt is at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ahlWR23vWk This is a fictional story about Claude Monet.  The movie went over very well and so did my presentation.  We then proceeded to “paint” a mural with colored paper and glue sticks and everyone got really into it as you can see. 

painting with paper

painting with paper

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February 12, 2009 at 5:25 pm Leave a comment

Library Services for a New Age: Transforming Libraries into Centers for Boomer Learning and Community

Diantha Schull writes:

On October 1, I was delighted to work with Susan Irving, 2006 Lifelong Access Fellow, and Hagar Shirman, LFF’s Massachusetts EqualAccess Program Manager, to offer a preconference on Library Services for a New Age: Transforming Libraries into Centers for Boomer Learning and Community at the National Diversity in Libraries Conference co-sponsored by the Kentucky Library Association, KSMA, SELA, and the Association of Research Libraries.   Held in Louisvile, Kentucky,  the preconference attracted a diverse and motivated group, including adult program specialists, branch managers, library trustees, public reference librarians and academic librarians from such locations as Baton Rouge, Louisville, Atlanta, Lexington and Scott County Library in Georgetown, Kentucky.   Participants contributed throughout the session, discussing the need for new approaches to working with active older adults and exchanging ideas for programs, partnerships and “branding.”

Lifelong Access Fellow Susan Irving gave an exceptional presentation on the work she has lead in Louisville as Manager of the St. Matthews Eline Library.   She described the beginnings of the program, when she attended her first meeting of the Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative and her participation in the 2006 Lifelong Access Institute.  From there, she worked with leaders of 4 local organizations that were already using the library on a regular basis, to design and experiment with programs that would engage older adults from across the community.    She outlined the programming philosophy—innovate, inform, involve—and showed examples of the program series that have evolved over two years, including “Aging Well” Programs, “Community Conversations,” “Puzzle Play” and “Want to Talk About It?”.   Each program involves a partner organization.  According to Susan, the library now has more partners than it can accommodate, and a waiting list besides.   She believes that programming for boomers has given her library and her community “an anchor” that continues to grow.

We know many other Lifelong Access Fellows are organizing programs to inform colleagues about Lifelong Access.  Please let us know if you are presenting or participating in workshops about 50+ services!

October 7, 2008 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

Lifelong Access Ideas in Action in Fayetteville, AR

2008 Lifelong Access Fellow Michele Raine, Manager of Reference Services at the Fayetteville Public Library, writes:

It’s been two months since we were in Chapel Hill together, and I can say that I’ve thought about something we learned there at least once a week since then.  I’m not much of a blogger, but I wanted to share some of what’s happened at the Fayetteville Public Library based on our experiences at the LFF Lifelong Access Institute.

The first change after the LFF Institute was that the library began partnering with the Arkansas Yoga Center to offer free yoga classes at the library. (If you read Vogue magazine, you might have seen the article about the Arkansas Yoga Center in the September 2008 issue.)  We now offer three classes a month, and they are filled through November!  Dr. Nussbaum’s program on brain health was a call to action for me, not only for physical activity, but mental activity.

The second big change in my department since LFF has been my attitude toward roles for volunteers.  I don’t know if you remember my reaction to Jill Friedman Fixler’s discussion on developing meaningful experiences at the library for our volunteers.  Faced with expanding daily tasks and shrinking staff, I was resistant. I think I said something like, “but who will call the holds?”  However, I met with our volunteer manager and in September we began a program called “Reading Road Show for Adults.”  We already had one for kids that took storytime to Head Start centers, but now the Road Show book club meets at the Senior Center once a month.

The Road Show is completely organized and led by volunteers.  Library staff simply checks out a book club kit to volunteers, and off they go.  I also shopped the idea of a walking club organized and led by volunteers. Our library is across the street from the trailhead to one of the city’s walking trails and two blocks from the historic square, which seem like nice walking destinations. I’ll keep you posted on both initiatives.

Finally, we won a PBS grant for a series of programs on social entrepreneurship that will take place in November.  We’ve invited a former winner of the Purpose Prize, Jose-Pablo Fernandez, to come and be the keynote speaker for that series, and I wouldn’t have heard of the Purpose Prize without LFF!

Hope all are enjoying a healthy and productive fall.

October 3, 2008 at 4:38 pm 2 comments

The Next Chapter: A 50+ Resource Fair in NYC

2007 Lifelong Access Fellow Brigid Cahalan, Older Adult Services Specialist at the New York Public Library, writes:

Since participating as a Fellow in the 2007 Lifelong Access Institute, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the question of how libraries can contribute to enhancing the lives of active older adults in the community. What tools can we provide to promote civic engagement, healthy aging, and creativity and growth throughout the lifespan?

The New York Public Library has been in a process of transformation, and as part of the changes I’ve been appointed to a newly-created position–Older Adults Services Specialist. I was delighted to learn of my new role, and look forward to putting into practice many of the lessons from the Institute, as well as learning from the experiences of other Fellows–past, present, and future.

NYPL’s Mid-Manhattan Library will be hosting a resource fair entitled The Next Chapter: A 50+ Resource Fair on Saturday, September 27, 2008 from 10 A.M.-3 P.M.  (Click here to see the flyer – PDF, 1 pg).  Seventeen organizations that focus on volunteering and education for New York City’s 50+ population will be sending literature and staffing resource tables. In an adjoining room, representatives from each will have 10 minutes each to speak about the opportunities they can provide.

And yes, there will  be Wii! A library page will be present to give attendees an opportunity to try some of the sports-related Nintendo Wii game products such as bowling, golf and tennis.

Take a look at the flyer to see which organizations will be coming and, of course, if you’re in New York City that day, stop by!

September 19, 2008 at 5:16 pm 3 comments

Program Ideas – Vital Aging Network

Smiling Adults The Vital Aging Network (VAN) is a group based out of St. Paul, Minnesota.  The organization is described as “individuals who are sharing our strengths to promote and support the self-sufficiency, community participation, and quality of life of older adults.”  VAN holds monthly forums on topics ranging from creativity to caregiving to the cultural wisdom of elders.   

This organization’s forums provide a model of best practice programming for older adults, and can be a great source for program ideas in your library.  Check out the “Forum Summaries” page for an overview of their most recent workshops.  Are there similar interest groups in your community geared towards older adults with whom you have partnered or collaborating with in the future? What has been your experience?

www.vital-aging-network.org

October 31, 2007 at 6:21 pm Leave a comment


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