Family news, Health, Resources, Senior Outlook

Seniors Need Library Services Too

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Photo gallery (beaumontcommonsdearborn.org)

While supporting my sister with the care of my ill and elderly father, I noticed while he was residing in his first new residence of 2 months, that the facility had a library for their residents.  Not a big one, but one that housed a collection of books for the seniors to read while sitting in the library room.  I noted that there was no one particularly maintaining the library. Most of the time the activity director is responsible for this area. It was the same way when he was temporarily residing at a nursing facility while my sister was vacationing in Las Vegas.  These facilities have a room for library books but there is often no official librarian or services provided.  This is an opportunity I am looking into as I rewrite my marketing plan for the coming year.

Seniors are avid readers and they have a lot of time on their hands, being that many have lived out their lives and retired from employment responsibilities.  They are more likely to participate in library activities and desire to have someone that can upgrade and manage their library needs. Many would even appreciate library materials that aid the deaf and blind.  While I worked as a librarian at the Detroit Public Library, I was placed in the department that served the blind.  We provided audio-books for them.  Patrons are now able to download books in the form of e-books from their local libraries.  I anticipate that many seniors are not that computer literate and might wish to learn how they might access books in this format.  Also, the blind can download and check out audio books online as well.  It is very enlightening to know that many senior community facilities now have access to computers with WiFi in their computer centers.

I  taught  a couple of clients how to use their computer programs and consider adding this need for potential senior clients.  Seniors would probably want to know how to communicate with their relatives by programs like  messenger, Skype, or email. Most seniors would probably prefer a traditional hard-copy book that they can read while sitting in bed instead of a laptop; as is more likely used by younger readers since many grew up with this technology.  Most of these programs offer video conferencing, so that senior residents can not only talk, but see their friends and relatives.  This makes them feel less isolated and lonely.  they feel connected to the outside and their family.  They might not be able to have their relatives visit in person as often as they’d like, but they remain in touch.

While a librarian with the public libraries, I was fortunate to have worked with the book mobile department.  We delivered books to these senior community living facilities and I got to know many of the seniors.  They loved the camaraderie and so did I.  I learned a lot from listening to their life experiences and miss dearly my own grandmother who passed away in 2014.  It was a rewarding job and I hope as an independent librarian, I can revamp these experiences. You will be surprised how seniors love learning new things.  Books offer a range of outlets for them.  Seniors are very creative people and still have much to offer society.  I do not want to write them off in any way and desire to give them the library services they truly deserve.

Any directors of these facilities should contact me to schedule a meeting regarding a possible contract for my library services.  I would be more than glad to work with you to plan a program for your senior residents.

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