5-Star Programming and Services for Your 55+ Library Customers

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  • Table of Contents
  • About the Author

As members of the population approach age fifty-five and above, libraries are faced with an untapped opportunity to serve a consistently underserved population. As she explains the ins and outs of planning, developing, marketing, and funding successful programs and services to the graying population, longtime outreach and access advocate Barbara T. Mates demonstrates how libraries can benefit from providing top-notch programs and services for older adults.

The latest in the ALA Programming Guides series, this comprehensive resource gets to the heart of what seniors need and want—from continuing education to recreation—and how to reach out to homebound seniors. Packed with ideas for films and music, computers and the Web, reminiscing programs, reading, using adaptive and assistive devices, and more, this is the one-stop guide for serving the needs of library customers as they move into the second half of life!

With step-by-step instructions on planning, developing, marketing, and implementing programs and services; twenty-six figures, including checklists, forms, and marketing materials; and twenty-eight five-star programs from real-world librarians, this handy tool kit is worth the price of admission!

Chapter 1: Who Are All These Older People and Where Do They Live?

The Fifty-Plus Population Is Financially "in Control"
The Fifty-Plus Population Believes in Advocacy
Leisure Time Is Important to the Fifty-Plusers
Aging Is Also about Diversity
The Senior Class of Baby Boomers (Ages Fifty-Five to Sixty)
Looking at the Population Aged Sixty to Seventy
Looking at the Population Aged Seventy to Eighty-Five
Looking at the Population Aged Eighty-Five and Older
Where Do They Live?
Which States Saw the Largest Increase in the Older Population?
Where Will We See Future Population Growth?
Using the Numbers for Planning Purposes
Chapter 2: Special Needs within the Older eneration
Aging and Vision
Hearing Loss
Changes in Mobility and Dexterity
Cognitive Changes
A Word about Alcohol and Prescription Abuse
Creating a Usable Environment for Older Adults with Impairments
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Seniors with Vision Impairments
Helping Overcome Hearing Loss in the Library
Appropriate Furnishings for Seniors with Impairments
Useful Items for Persons with Limited Dexterity and Mobility
Wheels in the Library
Libraries Helping Seniors at Home
Chapter 3: Staff and Seniors
Respect Basic Human Needs
Practice Good Manners
Select a Leader and Pursue Ongoing Training
Establish Service Guidelines
Serving Older Patrons Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision
Hire Seniors as Staff
Chapter 4: Programming for Seniors
Program Planning for Seniors Begins with Seniors
Finding the Seniors to Ask
Establishing a Senior Advisory Board
Partnering with Community Groups
Creating Partnerships for Seniors
The Successful Senior Program
Basic Rules for Program Planning
Types of Programs
Computer Training
Book Talks and Book Discussions
AARP 55 Alive
Older Adults Month
Chapter 5: Older Adults and Reading
Special Media and Collection Development
Book Talks
Book Discussion Groups for Seniors
Book Discussion Groups for New Senior Readers
Chapter 6: Outreach Library Programming
Staff, Planning, Partners, and Volunteers Needed
Library Services in Nursing Homes
Books and Media by Van and Cart
Library Services in Senior Centers
Library Services in Senior Housing or Assisted-Living Facilities
Library Services to the Homebound
Library Service to Seniors Using Mobile Services
Bringing Programming into the Senior Environment
Extending the Senior Book Club to the Community and Vice Versa
Computer Training
Chapter 7: Outreach Computers and Seniors
Profile of Seniors Currently Online
Outfitting the Library's Computers for Senior Hands and Eyes
A Comfortable Work Space for Seniors
Software for Seniors—Screen Magnification Programs
Software for Seniors—Screen Reading Programs
Microsoft Programs
Seniors as Learners—Providing the Right Training Tools
Introducing the Computer to Seniors
Instructing Seniors
What to Teach
Using the Library's Website as an Instructional Resource
Chapter 8: Seniors and Accessible Websites
Website Considerations for Seniors
The Model Senior Website
Building a Links Library for Seniors
Focused Forums for Senior Surfers
Chapter 9: Preparing and Distributing Marketing and Informational Materials for Senior Programs
How Is Marketing to Seniors Different?
Use the Print Media
Content Should Be Easy to Read
Consider Translating the Text for Non-English-Speaking Audiences
Format the Text
Test the Documents
Where Do You Distribute Promotional Materials?
Reach Seniors through Radio and Television
Reach Seniors Using Promotional Items
Reach Seniors through Word of Mouth
Chapter 10: Funding Senior Programs
Foundations: A Good Source for Funding New Programs
The Basics of Successful Grant Proposals
Answer Questions Before They Are Asked
Proposal Elements
Why Grant Makers Give a Thumbs Up
Keep in Touch and Say Thank You
Local and Small Foundations
National Funding Organizations
Government Funds and Assistance
Theme Grants
Your Local Wal-Mart
Funding from Friends and Neighbors
Nonfinancial Contributions
Using the Web for Fund-Raising
Reaffirming the Need for Senior Services
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Suggested Bookmarks for Seniors
Appendix 3
Proven Five-Star Senior Programming Initiatives

Barbara T. Mates

Barbara T. Mates, is Head, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at the Cleveland Public Library. Ms. Mates has been very active with the American Library Association. She a member of the American Library Association's Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Services (ASCLA) and has served on several ASCLA committees. Equal access to libraries and information has been the focal point of her career. She is Chair of the Outreach and Special Services Committee of the Ohio Library Council. She is the author of Adaptive Technology for the Internet: Making Electronic Resources Accessible to All (ALA, 2000) and the article, "Accessibility Guidelines for Electronic Resources" (Library Technology Reports, 2001). She regularly speaks to various groups about access to information. Ms. Mates has presented papers at the American Library Association, Ohio Library Conference, Computers in Libraries, and conducted workshops across North America. She was the recipient of the ASCLA Francis Joseph Campbell Award.

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