Ages & Stages: Boomers in Libraries

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  • A great deal has been said about boomers. We hope not to repeat too much of it. You know all about the pig in the python. Hope to offer some practical inspiration to help you plan programs and partnerships in your library. Jane: This diagram that Mary Catherine Bateson shared with us is an illustration of the new situation that we find ourselves in – where it was common for three generations to exist simultaneously in the past , now it is common for four to co-exist. Leading to new stresses and opportunities – e.g. the stress of sandwich generation, and the opportunity to go on learning and contributing much longer.
  • Jane: One of the major partners is H0GP, in fact, the only other outside org with staff paid for by the grant. and volunteerism is integral to the program. We look at volunteerism as a service to the volunteers, as a way to enrich their lives, and enhance their skills, not just as a way to get work done. Abigail: Fixler-Freedman ideas on volunteer motivation
  • Three models of volunteer motivation with credit to Jill Fixler Friedman First model is the “worker volunteer” . Enjoys the social aspect, structure and continual learning of the workplace Ongoing work to create social bonds Creates a sense of purpose and accomplishment Opportunities for growth – and variety of jobs and tasks
  • Second model is the “Consumer Volunteer” Limited hours in the day; often still working Flexible schedule Episodic volunteer Example: has a project that can be done with flexible hours; leading a project Ideas: develop booklists; book discussion guides Facilitate book groups, conduct surveys, lead a research project; conduct survey; serve as speaker or presenter
  • Final model is the “Activist Volunteer” Boomers came of age in a time that witnessed impressive gains in human, environmental and civil rights. Deep desire to make a difference. Appeal to this group by talking about literacy in the broadest sense (technological, economic, financial, health) Example is CyberSeniors-- - bridging the digital divide Right to read…right to access information…
  • Here’s the third element of successful library service to midlife adults: programming It is also our most visible, the place where you see really our efforts at appealing to this cohort. Building on our partnerships and using volunteers, we have been able to offer a strong series of programs. I’d like to offer some advice here on marketing to boomers; Appeal to people by interest, not age. Please do not make any more flyers with bulgy psychedelic tie-dyed lettering on them. Market by afiinity and be glad that have intergenerational audiences, if that’s who you get. Examples: Senior movie night vs. classic Sunday cinema. Body-builders attending brain workshop, because of their mother.
  • One inspiration for MCL programs was this series at Alameda Co Richard Bray, fellow at LFF The big questions- this was intriguing to us
  • 1 st series tackeld by our Life by Design staffer Caring for your aging parents Understand what a caregiver is Mix the light and the heavy – death and knicknacks (emotional and physical burden of transitions in parents’ lives) Make it super-useful
  • Books to Action Work with partner HGOP – they do most of the marketing and registration Pick good books – use library expertise Rely on volunteer group for their expertise
  • Books to Action Work with partner Pick good books – use library expertise Rely on volunteer group for their expertise
  • Community and Connection A little more cerebral, a little edgier Topics from racism to Bright Neighbor kind of practicality This got a great response, despite not that exciting graphics etc.
  • Perspective on Positive Aging Occasional series Luminaries – make sure that speakers are good speakers, not just experts Demanding audience Pay for speakers
  • Recommend the book It gets at the heart of the desires and hopes of boomers – it will help you figure out how to appeal to adults in midlife and bring wonderful new program and volunteers into your library. As Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot said in an interview with Bill Moyers: “” And we're ready for something new, for a new experience, for a new adventure. And I think all of us, to some degree, experience some burnout. Burnout is not about working too hard. Or working too diligently or being overcommitted. Burnout is about boredom. And so, I think in some ways this is about sort of moving beyond the boredom to compose, to invent and reinvent the path that we're on.” If you have any final stories or questions, we’d love to hear them. Thank you so much!
  • Ages & Stages: Boomers in Libraries

    1. 1. AGES AND STAGES: BOOMERS AND LIBRARIES
    2. 2. BOOMER DEMOGRAPHICS! <ul><li>Boomers defined as those born between 1946-1964 </li></ul><ul><li>Every 8 seconds a boomer turns 50 </li></ul><ul><li>Boomer demand will grow exponentially over the next decade </li></ul><ul><ul><li>22 % of current library patrons are 55+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boomers comprise at least 25% of the population of every state except Utah </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By 2014, Boomers will be between 50-70 </li></ul></ul>
    3. 4. WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT BOOMERS? <ul><li>Healthy, educated, active and mobile </li></ul><ul><li>Aging in place </li></ul><ul><li>Seek meaningful engagement in their communities, either paid or unpaid </li></ul><ul><li>Expect to design and manage activities for themselves and others </li></ul>
    4. 5. VOLUNTEERS
    5. 6. WORKER VOLUNTEER
    6. 7. CONSUMER VOLUNTEER
    7. 8. ACTIVIST VOLUNTEER
    8. 9. PROGRAMS
    9. 16. FINAL WORDS <ul><li>Already do a great job serving Boomers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expand and grow your current services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer Boomers new ways to get involved </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t take this age group for granted! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus groups and surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask what they want from the library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask how they want to get it from the library </li></ul></ul>
    10. 17. SARA LAWRENCE-LIGHTFOOT THE THIRD CHAPTER: PASSION, RISK AND ADVENTURE IN THE 25 YEARS AFTER 50

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