Alessio Workshop: Building Great Programs for Seniors


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  • South Tyneside Library UKAfter my background: I enjoy both teens and seniors. Enthusiasm shown in different ways, often very frank, but respect library services that are geared towards them. I am a sandwich generation – helping my mother arrange care for my father with Alz and Parkinson’s. Many issues and limitations facing seniors from meeting hundreds of them at my programs and getting to know many. Both teens and seniors continually surprise me.Building Great Programs for Seniors (ALA Editions Workshop) A 90-minute workshop, Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 2:30pm Eastern/1:30 Central/12:30 Mountain/11:30am Pacific By building programs that engage and attract active seniors to your library, you can help reinforce your library’s status as an important community center for residents of all ages. In this workshop, Amy Alessio will show you how to build these programs. She has conducted over 250 live programs on related topics at libraries, senior centers, and national conferences including 2013 ALA Annual and is recognized as one of the top library programming authorities in the country. Topics include:What subjects are of particular interest to today’s senior citizens and why.How to use trends and short programs to replicate and create your own programs.How to extend popular topics into clubs or recurring events for seniors.
  • My GrandmaAlessio – I show her picture at the beginning of many of my vintage programsWhat subjects are of particular interest to today’s senior citizens and why.How to use trends and short programs to replicate and create your own programs.How to extend popular topics into clubs or recurring events for seniors.First – history – how many seniors, who are they, where do they come fromSecond – why would they come to the library and how we serve themThird – 30 program ideas at least to take and replicate easily either by hiring low cost speakers in many cases or how to replicate them realistically in library settings that are stretched already with staff, funding and time constraints**many of these can be adjusted for different ages to include families, or another separate eventFourth – what to do when something is really popular and why this is both a good and bad situation to have!
  • Today’s Seniors108,529,706 seniors in US todayAccording to AARPSchulke, Flip, 1930-2008, Photographe EPA National Archives
  • all info on next slidesNamed by Tom Brokaw who wrote: “It is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced.”Grew up during the Great DepressionMany served in the armed forces during World War 2Racial and ethnic minorities of the generation, especially African Americans, endured extreme prejudice and abuse, including shameful institutionalized racism that was Jim Crow law and segregation
  • Social Security websiteDuring the Great Depression preceding the passage of the Social Security Act, "soup kitchens" provided the only meals some unemployed Americans had. This particular soup kitchen was sponsored by the Chicago gangster Al Capone. Stone Soup type parties. Stretch the tiny bit of meat even further
  • From NARA: NYA-"Lee County Training School(Negro)"-Tupelo, Mississippi-students at work in library Also known as the Post-War Generation, the “Lucky Few”, and “The Traditionalists”May have grown up during Great Depression but generally too young to have served in Second World WarMost Korean War veterans are Silent Generation membersSilent Generation African Americans also grew up during era of Jim Crow but fought for and achieved significant strides in civil rights during their adulthoodCharacteristics:HardworkingLogicalLoyalTraditional outlook and clear sense of right and wrongConformist
  • Interviewing a baby boomer couple about civil rights - 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.Came of age during the civil rights movement and desegregationWitnessed Vietnam and corresponding anti-war movement, with many members of this generation having been drafted into the serviceUshered in a more permissive and socially liberal cultureCharacteristics:IndependentCompetitiveMay have more open-minded social values than older generationsFocused on health and wellnessValues individuality
  • Http:// by a $4,000 LSTA grant, this space is primarily for older adults–Enjoy a cup of coffee at our self-service coffee bar!Explore our special collections of books, DVDs, CDs, games, puzzles & gadgets! Attend a wide variety of programsMeet friends & have a great time!
  • Understanding their interests: In common: hardworking, independent, courageous, frugal, and then more open minded and socially aware when we get through to the Boomers
  • Notice this is the case for teen services, too! And other ages.
  • Do you have a group that is large, opinionated, feisty and would come in every day if they could and discuss certain topics? This as we know is both good and bad. Quarterly to start if not enough real interest – like quarterly community fairs, such as job fairs, volunteering fairs, housing fairs, flea marketDuring the dayMulti generational maybe for families in evening w/ youth services, Streamlined registration – sign up at end of each, by phone, in personTie in to Charitable EffortsOpportunities to Welcome New Folks – no one likes lots of rules – imagine if you have memory issues Rotate Leaders or Project leaders – inclusion w/o divisionWill mention several with club potential and ideas after topic in Club Connection Slides
  • Just like a TABFriends of Birmingham PL
  • Photo of Southern Vintage TreatsTalk logistics for a minute: Recently I had to take my mom for eye treatments and was struck by how un-senior friendly the place was, though seniors were main customers. Had to yell names often. Confusing parking lot with small perpendicular rather than slotted spots. Dim lighting with chairs facing away, no clear set up for appointment and insurance lines. Having mom make appointments for 3 months ahead with patch on her eye. Logistics: samples on plates ready to hand out – keeps germ spread and confusion to a minimumMany take registration, but let others come. If fee, some can come laterMicrophone – I’m loud but seniors need to hearHandouts but understand they may not be cooking at home – like to have something to look at during program, and no age likes size 10 type!Short and sweet. Lighting – safe to come in. May not be used to meeting rooms or night set up at library. Is it clear where the program is? Allow participation – many seniors at my shows have told me no one listens or cares about their stories. Plan time for talking afterwards. Some may come visit you and talk a lot later. Many come in early for their seats – depending on sight and hearing issues. Short reminders about upcoming events. I’ve seen sign up sheets with cards on upcoming programs where they could sign up and take a reminder.
  • No fines, punchcard or discount for bus trips, eventsBook a librarian – few took advantageTraining for staff on working with seniors. Bookmobile | Massillon Public Librarywww.massillonlibrary.org1280 × 960Search by imageAnneJuhasz, Outreach Services Manager, at Faith in Action's Senior Health and Lifestyle Fair at the Massillon Recreation Center on September 27.
  • No club connection here! But necessary and continually important topicWorking with local hospitals and agencies. Many have classes or clinics – could some be offered at the library?County health dept. does screenings for depression and other illnessesMedicare and medicine affect most areas of seniors lives, worries, and future issuesHealth Screenings, drivesInformation, insurance realities, links and resources for signing upList of Medicare housing – changes in medical or senior laws and benefits each January? Many libraries had links on Obamacare or q/a prominently on their sites.Do many seniors have wireless networks at home or smartphone? No, but know how to use ones at library. Many have e-readers or devices to watch things on. Drivers tests – laws, procedures, local information
  • Health fair for families – classes at YMCAFairs are not intimidating – requiring exercise, people can pick up materials at leisureHealth Fair time – not like a club, but maybe class demonstrations at lunchtime each Thursday or something like that. May attract more than seniors
  • AARP found seniors eat fast food when they don’t feel like cooking. Food programs are always popular, and seniors may well attend cooking ones even if they no longer have a kitchen or inclinationEthnic food fests – run by high school foreign language clubs, attended largely by seniors $3 fee, restaurant foodWho else might enjoy these programs? Everyone! Tour restaurants bus trip. Does your library have bus trips? Our library is planning some for Route 66 for the summer – day trip.
  • Scams with local police dept.Some police depts. Do basic self defenseInternet and phone scams – very well attended, local pizzeria offered food to get people to come – offered in morning and at night.FIL didn’t know credit card needed to fly, pay for luggage – anniversary trip
  • Set up missing person crime sceneBe prepared for really smart, grisly questionsCSI effectSpeakers are likely best, but you could set up a scene and invite seniors to fill out a card to solve with drawings for prizes. Or make it part of another presentation. Fun after a heavier program on safety and scans. Okay – solve sceneMike Black and Dave case – 100 seniors, crazy questions, Mike asked why they wanted to know how to get away with stuff. No one bought books. We bought some to raffle.Authors where they buy for grandchildren.
  • Housing fair: many libraries have preschool fairs or a booklet describing those facilities.You may want to consider having a virtual housing fair. Send an electronic form to the directors of senior facilities and day care centers asking for information on types of care, special programs, if Medicare, Social Security or Veterans benefits are accepted, how many people are there and how many staff. Those could be compiled with links or printed for handing out at applicable programs.A housing fair would have representatives from facilities for a drop in program at the library.
  • Programs on buying and selling homes appeal to lots of different ages, including the sandwich generation who may have to help their parents clear out and sell. It may be information that can’t wait for a program and you will be compiling it at the reference desk but some good speakers on the topic can help others get ready. Topics and speakers related to these needs include:Director of senior center on what to bring and pack, storage optionsRealtor on how to get the house ready in economical fashion – or what repairs really get value in house sale?Estate sale company
  • Some of my own collection, some from coworkers’ parents who were downsizing. Had to tell folks to stop giving me itemsAny of it valuable? Not much. But valuable to me and my business. Antiques fair, how to put stuff on ebay, do it at classAntiques expert – get registration ahead of time, or first 50 people at time slot, maybe some would make offersMid-Century glasses and dishesDecades fashion showHelp them look up value with display/resources
  • Aprons and more: program basically on nostalgia. I talked about Mitts, Trivets, Aprons and more. Some were crafty, some just remembered what they had and used and gave away. Localcty fair has oldest contest. They have likely saved some old treasuresBring in oldest cookbook, - idea from fair collectionsOldest recipeRibbon or trophy
  • Library anniversariesSummer themesRenovation themeCelebrate each month with a couple off and reset each yearFriend’s g-grandma was bomb maker during 1940s
  • Preserving Family RecipesWriting memoirsStory history for local history collections at library
  • Clubs – not just seniors, but lots of senior interestSpeakers from veterans groupsElectronic resourcesEveryone shares progress at beginningExample of speaker:The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom. The guest speaker for the evening will be Dr. Daniel Hubbard. Dr. Hubbard will present a program titled “Researching At Appomattox Court House: Genealogy through the Lens of the Civil War”.This talk reviews how Civil War era records aren’t just about soldiers and sailors. Before, during and after the war, a wealth of different types of unusual records were produced that speak of that time and tell the story of a whole generation. Daniel Hubbard is a full-time professional researcher who has been researching almost as long as he can remember. Inspired by family stories and a pair of genealogist aunts, he began to seriously conduct family history research at about eleven years of age. He spent eight years at CERN outside Geneva, Switzerland learning to handle very large research projects while performing research in particle physics (Ph.D. University of Michigan, Post-doc Harvard).
  • Technology for seniors – new gadgetsMy mother was indicating it is harder to order from catalogs over phone any more, has me help her with websites. She still sits and works with me, even though she doesn’t have a computer. Many can’t afford smartphones, and wireless technology in their homes. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want the skills or want to be left behind.FIL with Netflix – is there someone there who can help you? Tax formsMovie and photo editing, digital scrapbookingAfter gift times – bring in gadget and get basic help, some libraries worried about being responsible – patrons agree teens help, can’t download things on to it, just do basic operations, connect to manufacturer.
  • appointment times? Used to make appointments – or have particular shift that’s not too complicated to remember – Mondays 9 – 11 a.m.
  • By topic tooSet up senior blog, site
  • Tech scavenger huntOnline chatProgram sign up info. Download an ebook or audio book
  • Living Wills and Library ResourcesThis is another one that won’t be made into a club, but it’s definitely needed for patrons. What it is, how to make one, organ donation options. This one is not going to draw huge crowds, but perhaps it could be added to the end of a popular program, or before a music program. A display of materials with a sign about the program. The software for a will template to get people started could be on the computers. Links and info per state or territory.Great site – woman’s husband was killed suddenly – offensive title, but got great, real information. For younger info, too, but the living Wills and Wills info is particularly useful.
  • Surveying seniors at the end of programs will help lead to new topics, but also ask about life concerns. While big numbers will not be the goal at these programs the library can be a lifeline for information and support. Of course we can’t handle legal concerns but they can know about benefits.More than a link, the library could offer podcasts about these laws, or speakers. My siblings and I went to a few speakers on benefits to learn about money my parents qualified for with their housing. The IL one has a directory of services for seniors. No doubt the reference desk will use these. Any of these topics could go for another program.
  • Veterans and VA events and speakersUS Navy 060526-N-4014G-019 Veterans from the Tidewater chapter of U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II (WWII) watch as the names of lost WWII submarines are read offNice to do program for Veterans day – many schools do not have the day off any moreMemorabilia for displayHave kids, teens make cards for area veterans hospital
  • Voter registrationLibrary board candidate forums
  • From MorguefileNeighborhood places with senior discounts – filer, website, or fairAt next Chamber meeting, ask who has discounts for seniors. Would those folks like to participate in a local business fair? Again, coupon clippingNational parks, nearby sites. Do they know about library resources? Bookmarks in reserves are a good way to promote events.
  • Reality that many seniors have to work at least part time. Often part time is all that’s available after layoffs or early retirement. Some just want them to keep busy or for entertainment. Help them find part time jobs. A job fair will attract different ages, but a part-time job fair will bring out the seniors as well.
  • Volunteering opportunities: Many libraries have volunteer coordinators as it can be necessary to harness the volunteer help and opportunities. The popularity of Friends groups indicates a willingness of library volunteer candidates.
  • Financial experts to meet with them
  • Cookin’ Up Nostalgia
  • All remembered this, one did it before I came backSome seniors just love to make one thing over and overSome can’t do it, enjoy tryingShow short presentation – You Tube! And let them work. I am not good at these crafts, I don’t have to be.
  • Talented folks – opportunity to socialize, give something backNLW raffling items for charityFlea Market/Craft Fair – or library group has tables at local fairs to raise money for Charity or Friends groups
  • Indianapublicmedia.orgSeniors show in booths also take classes
  • Blogs/Topics for SeniorsWill draw more than seniors, depending on when and how you host it
  • Like Decades clubHigh schoolers play lots of marchesOpera and ballet previews – may not be able to afford to go thereLove to watch – more about memories
  • Movie triviaDan and Raymond theme nights – Chase scene night was really popularAnything filmed in your area? Prizes for catching scenes, buildings, etc.
  • Books with Pizzazz: Don’t be afraid to do sexy – remember that one? Senior center – last topicBanned booksDivergent or DystopianWill talk in detail about some of these on June 18 at book program webinar
  • Civil War tea, Anne Ylvisaker
  • WikimediaPets visit senior centers, often they can’t move with pets. Many enjoy listening to stories.
  • Alessio Workshop: Building Great Programs for Seniors

    1. 1. * Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    2. 2. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio * *Revisit what topics interest today’s seniors and why *Review 35+ program topic trends and ideas to replicate or *To expand into clubs *Highlight elements of clubs or recurring events
    3. 3. Today’s Seniors Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    4. 4. *Characteristics: Perseverance in face of adversity Courageousness Frugal spending habits Traditional values * Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    5. 5. *Eat it up *Wear it out *Make it do *Or do without Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    6. 6. * Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    7. 7. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio * *Independent *Competitive *More open-minded social values *Focused on health and wellness *Values individuality
    8. 8. * • Coffee bar • Collection including puzzles, gadgets • Programs Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    9. 9. * Thunder Bay PL, Canada Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    10. 10. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio * *Social Opportunities *Education *Entertainment *Assistance and Training *Resources *No or Low Cost Services *Independence
    11. 11. *Realistic timeline for staff while retaining interest: monthly, weekly, quarterly *Duplicate club during day and evening (Don’t recreate the wheel.) *Multi-generational *Streamlined registration *Welcome new folks, easy to participate *Rotate leaders or project leaders “Club Connection Slides” Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    12. 12. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio * *Fits lots of requirements from previous page *Maybe a younger Friends group is needed also *Can fund senior programs or special events *Should have its own special events/rewards *Train library volunteers *May have to end and restart periodically as members change
    13. 13. * Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio Non-binding registration Microphones Visibility (even subtitles) Lighting Short handouts Time for sharing Early seating Reminders for upcoming events
    14. 14. * No fines * Punchcards for fines, bonus materials, extensions * Discounts for trips, events * Technology drop ins * Appointments for extra help or designated times * Repeating popular events Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio *
    15. 15. * *Partnerships with hospitals, health departments, agencies *Screenings and drives *Information and resources *Medicare *Showing people how to look up medicines *Housing funding Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    16. 16. * *Health Fair: gyms, simple screenings, demonstrations of classes *Self-Defense *Wellness and Healthy Living *Grocery Stores: new food choices *No Sweat Sugar Free *Couponing *Mental Health: stages of grief, holiday stress Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    17. 17. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio * *Microwave magic (also good for new adults) *Four ingredient recipes *$5 dinners *Super salads & soups *Ethnic foods and history *Restaurant festivals
    18. 18. * Internet and phone scams * Basic self-defense * Travel safety – international and domestic * Identity and password safety Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio *
    19. 19. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio *
    20. 20. * *Organizations to help Age in Place *Information on Hospice *Representatives from Day Programs *Organizations with Senior Programs *Housing Representatives *Veteran Benefit Speakers Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    21. 21. * Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    22. 22. * Selling Online Antiques Expert Fair By Theme: Books, Jewelry, Glassware Presentation on Values of Popular Items by Decade Display of Items with Resources Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    23. 23. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio *Oldest cookbook Oldest recipe Ribbon or trophy Letter Photo/Polaroid Prom Picture
    24. 24. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio * *Fashion *Food *Music *Books, movies or TV from that time or set in that time *Videos of dance steps *Photos *Memories *Trivia Contests
    25. 25. * Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    26. 26. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio *
    27. 27. * Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio • Electronic library resources and downloadables • E-readers changing print size • Simple photo and movie editing from phones • Help with gadgets
    28. 28. * *Small Class Sizes *Tip Sheets *Hands On *Follow Up *Social Support/Encouragement *Individualized Attention Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    29. 29. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio * *Setting up Goodreads shelves, other social media *New library technologies: 3-D printer, downloadables *Test gadgets or services for other seniors
    30. 30. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio * *Prizes for completing or entering *Online chat with reference *Downloadable app – show staff *Sign up for program *Link to library social media *Put item on reserve online, or online search *Use online databases *Download ebook or audio book
    31. 31. * Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    32. 32. *State Department on Aging *Spousal Impoverishment *Illinois Family Caregiver Support *Grandparents Raising Grandchildren *Basic Overview of Types of Retirement Accounts Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    33. 33. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio * • Not Just in November • Collect Photos, Memorabilia • Veterans Benefits, Spouses • Records of What Units from Area Were in Each Major Conflict Including Civil War
    34. 34. * Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    35. 35. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio * *AARP Card discounts *Feature Chamber businesses with senior promotions *Senior business fair *Travel and transportation for less handout in summer or around holidays
    36. 36. * Part-Time or Volunteer Opportunities Resume Writing, Tips Job Hunting Computer and Social Media Training Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    37. 37. * *Four Weeks *Presentation on Each Department *Quick Trainings *Fun Handouts *Based on Community Police Academy What do you wish more of the public knew about? Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    38. 38. *Gaming Night *Reading Night *Healthy Snacks *Movie Nights *Crafts *Special Events *Day Trips or Free Tickets to Museums * Grandparents Raising Children Groups * Materials on State Support * Family Programs * School Readiness * College Application Process Support * Financial Aid or Family Finance Workshops at Same Time as Kids’ Events Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio *
    39. 39. * • Family Recipe Scrapbooking • Worksheet and presentation to trigger memories • Pass on all traditions, especially ethnic ones • Easy binder and page protector recipe albums • Apron Decoration
    40. 40. *
    41. 41. * *Retro Recipe Exchange *Jello *Vintage Holiday Foods *Classic Chicago Candies *Desserts by the Decade *Vintage Tea Parties *Kolackies and More *Apple Pie and History of Harvest Foods Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    42. 42. * Flower Loom * Quilling * Pom Poms (think roller skates) * Macrame (but no plant hangers) * String Art * Woven Barrettes * Fascinators *Scrapbooking *Knitting/Crochet *Quilting *Computer Crafting: printing transfers *3-D Paper Crafts, origami, ornaments *Terrariums Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio *
    43. 43. * • Cards for Senior Centers, Veterans • Knotting Blankets • Knitting/Crocheting: clothing, blankets, squares for blankets • Blankets for Animal Shelters • Sell or Raffle Items for Charity Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    44. 44. * Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    45. 45. * *Memoirs *Calligraphy *Journaling *Basic Blogging *Website Creation *Non-fiction Writing *Query Process *Magazines Seeking Senior Stories: Reminisce *Self-Publishing *Book Talk on Writing Craft Books Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    46. 46. * Festival * Connected to Dates: Elvis’ Birthday * Summer or Outdoor Programs * Beatles’ Tribute Bands, Civil War Music, Renaissance * Big Bands * High School Musicians * Veterans and Memorial Day Events * Local Trips for Concerts *Preview Upcoming Seasons *Teach dance steps for classic steps *Victory Tea or Prom for Seniors *Demonstrations with Music from Professionals *Ethnic Dance Groups Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio *
    47. 47. * • Academy Award Winners: history, show one from each decade • Academy Award Party • Family Movie Nights • Hollywood Trivia • Film Discussion Group • Foreign Films Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    48. 48. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio * *50 Shades of Racy Reading *Sweet Reads w/Cupcake Decorating *Crafty Reads *Delicious Reads *Forgotten Reads or Shocking Reads *Novel Bites: Book Club Food Suggestions *Edgy and Sexy Reads
    49. 49. Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio * *Easy lending, registration *Flexibility in choices, themes *Skype with authors *Books set in past, even children’s *Non-fiction *Play audio
    50. 50. * Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio
    51. 51. * Time? Space? Funding? Building Great Programs for Seniors Amy Alessio