Lifelong Access Libraries

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

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Lifelong Access Libraries

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

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