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Lifelong Access Libraries


Jane and Abigail's presentation at the 2008 Lifelong Access Libraries Institute.

Jane and Abigail's presentation at the 2008 Lifelong Access Libraries Institute.

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  • 1. Out standing in our field (and that’s where we belong!) Services for Boomers at Multnomah County Library Abigail Elder & Jane Salisbury
  • 2. About Multnomah County
    • Demographics
      • Portland and eastern suburbs
      • Almost 700,000 in Multnomah County
      • 199,487 people 50+ in Multnomah County
      • 1.9 million people in greater Metro area
      • Expecting 1 million more people in next 20 years.
    • Great public transportation
    • Vibrant downtown
    • Gentle climate, outdoor recreation
  • 3. Multnomah County Library
    • Our patrons love us!
    • 17 Locations with 2 more coming soon
    • Some of the busiest libraries in country
    • Nationally recognized youth programs
    • Currently well-funded through local levy
    • Staff and space are stretched to their limits!
    • So, we had to make the case for services for older adults.
  • 4. Making the case: cons
    • Great groups are already serving Boomers
    • Library already too busy
    • We think we already serve this group effectively
    • Scared it will become another juggernaut like youth services
    • People don’t “get it”
  • 5. Making the case: pros
    • Library is welcoming, safe, convenient, good hours and free.
    • Offer programs & collections for all ages
    • Intergenerational programs
    • Neutral place for civic engagement
    • Egalitarian– open for all
    • People love & trust the library.
  • 6. Sowing seeds: How we began
    • Invited ourselves to the table
    • Made connections within community
    • Found out what’s needed
    • Convinced library leadership
  • 7. Inviting yourself
      • AARP
      • Arts boards
      • Genealogists
      • Business associations
      • Neighborhood associations
      • Oregon Gerontological Assoc. Conference
      • Cultural, Arts and History committees
      • University task forces
      • Fix-it Fairs
      • USCIS Community Liaison Office
    • Caregiver’s Resource Fair
    • Condo welcome committees
    • CNRG,
    • Local telecommuter networking groups
    • Wellness programs
    • Book discussion groups, knitting, crafts, gardening…..
    • National Night Out
    • Immigrant and refugee services and organizations
  • 8. How to find partners?
    • Get on mailing lists & listservs
    • Read newspapers & newsletters
    • Go to events (Sunday Parkways)
    • Join groups & offer to speak
    • Pick up and drop off flyers and business cards
    • Practice introducing yourself: people want to meet you!
    • Be responsive to those who approach you.
  • 9. Find out what they want
    • Invite yourself to programs, resource fairs, board meetings, conferences, regular meetings – what are they discussing?
    • Listen
    • Ask: how can we help? Brainstorm with the group.
    • Emphasize what library does besides books.
    • Do informational interviews.
    • See what other libraries are doing.
  • 10. Build relationships
    • Serve on committees
    • Write content for group’s newsletter or website
    • Distribute materials for other groups
    • Write letters of support for other organization’s grant applications
    • Recognize your place (Leadership? Support?)
    • Reintroduce yourself
  • 11. Speaking truth to power
    • Educate your administrators
      • Demographics and diversity
      • Informally share facts at each opportunity
      • Manage up
      • Make presentations & raise consciousness
      • Use your counterparts in other organizations to make your case
    • Submit proposals
      • Menu of options
      • Indicate the expected costs and results
      • Phased implementation of programs
  • 12. Inside the Barn.
    • Recruit Boomer staff to the project
      • Test your program ideas on them
      • Use their connections
    • Become the in-house expert
    • Use your volunteers
      • Many are Boomers
      • Well-educated and experienced
      • Have expertise in areas you where you lack
  • 13. Since becoming jolly good fellows
    • We’ve presented to state library organizations, executive team, middle management, staff committees, and community partners
    • Currently hiring literacy coordinator, adult services manager
    • Life By Design Collaboration
    • LSTA grant application
    • Nicer brochures.
  • 14. What’s next
    • Sandwich Generation Series
    • Recruiting Boomer volunteers
    • Advisory Task Force for older adult programs
    • Critical mass of interested staff
    • County Vital Aging Task Force
    • Regional collaboration