Boomers, Zoomers & Senior Surfers – Friendly Programming


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OLA SuperConference 2014
Session 421
co-presented with Ruth Berry, eServices Library Technician, Georgina Public Library

As a hardware store used to claim, “You can do it. we can help.” Libraries have an opportunity to increase our relevance to the growing population of older adults by anticipating their needs and offering relevant services, programs, and support – from reading recommendations to Skype, e-books, and creating digital media. Learn effective methods and practical examples from two libraries on how this can be accomplished.

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Boomers, Zoomers & Senior Surfers – Friendly Programming

  1. 1. Boomers, Zoomers & Senior Surfers – Friendly Programming Alexandra Yarrow Wendy Robbins
  2. 2. City of Ottawa Older Adult Plan
  3. 3. City of Ottawa Older Adult Plan 1. Public libraries rated as “one of the top positive attributes” in Ottawa by older adults 2. Older adults preferred social / recreational opportunities close to home, accessible by transportation, and held at convenient times during the day. 3. Certain groups of older adults indicated that their unique needs were not adequately being met by existing programming.
  4. 4. City of Ottawa Older Adult Plan 4. Low income older adults are particularly concerned about their ability to engage in activities due to cost and difficulties with transportation. 5. Older adults are interested to learn computer skills as a way to access information and stay socially connected; low income older adults often cannot afford to purchase a computer.
  5. 5. Adults 55+ Survey: Carlingwood Branch • • • • • April – June 2012 Paper only 132 completed Student volunteer compiled results Results shared with public
  6. 6. OPL Programs: E-Reader tutorials “Not only did I get the answer to all my questions but I learned some new questions I can think about and I was able to improve my general skills with my iPad.” Your course was excellent. “All these electronic devices are slightly The instructor was kind different so it really does take one-onand patient and one training. This is not something answered all of my that you can just read about: you need questions clearly. Thank you for having this very someone to show you how and then informative course for let you practise a bit to give you the us ‘old folks.’” confidence that you can actually do it at home.”
  7. 7. OPL Programs: Techno buddies “Omar helped me with my selfesteem. Often people at my church ask me to send out my sermons by e-mail. I have made many excuses. I feel like I now have the steps to reach out to my community and connect in a new way. I now am taking the steps to become computer literate and I feel a load has been lifted off my shoulders. Thank you Carlingwood Branch and the wonderful volunteers like Omar”. I haven’t talked to a male teen in over 40 years...I might have a crush. Now I have a reason to visit the Carlingwood branch. I haven’t entered the building in 30 years!
  8. 8. OPL Programs: Bridging generations Teen volunteers share their knowledge of iPads with adults one-on-one. Adults teach Teens how to play bridge on an iPad.
  9. 9. MIS Thesis, University of Ottawa: A Place for Us: Baby Boomers, Their Elders, and the Public Library •How do baby boomer public library users who provide care to elders interact with the public library? •How do these users experience the library as a place? •What library use characteristics and behaviours of this user group suggest opportunities for further investigation?
  10. 10. OPL Programs: Reflections on Aging: a reading circle • A weekly, six-week session • Readings drawn from OPL collection • A respectful, secure space to explore perspectives on aging with the experience of others through the writings of a variety of authors. • A unique environment to support this exploration
  11. 11. Alexandra Yarrow Wendy Robbins