With the school year quickly coming to an end, children will soon be looking for ways to occupy their long summer days. While libraries will be well-utilized by children occupying their summer break and completing their summer reading requirements, seniors can also find libraries to be a great place to spend their days, as well. With virtually every community housing their own free public library, libraries are a great resource for older adults. From offering programs geared towards older adults or just a place of social interaction, libraries serve many purposes that can benefit seniors.
A Source of Community Resources for Seniors
The Institute of Museum and Library Services states that 42% of older adults visit their local libraries at least once a week. Men tend to be more frequent visitors than women, but both men and women alike are taking advantage of the great benefits and programs offered at libraries.
Library services for seniors — such as transportation services, reading groups, mentorship programs, and volunteering programs — are often offered at local libraries. Many libraries, like the Canterbury Public Library in Canterbury, Connecticut, offers programs targeted towards seniors like fall prevention, home safety best practices, and Medicare 101 training sessions.
Similarly, The Parkway Central Library in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania provides a program entitled Central Senior Services. This program provides tools and resources for seniors regarding Medicare and estate planning.
A Place for Seniors to Socialize
Not only can seniors use libraries as a source of vital information, but libraries are also a great place for seniors to interact with their peers and other members of their community.
Libraries are a safe place for seniors to socialize. From interacting with their peers or becoming involved in volunteer reading programs, libraries are more than just a source of reading materials.
Many libraries have incorporated technology to further appeal to their senior audience.
Indiana State University Library recently added Nintendo Wii to their catalogue. Patrons can now participate in a friendly game of Wii in a safe, cool environment. Not only does this game provide entertainment, but it also gives seniors an opportunity to exercise and interact with one another. The various adult library programs available give older adults the social interaction they so often need.
Whether it’s just catching up on their reading list or playing video games, libraries are great place for older adults to convene. Library programs for older adults keep seniors involved in their communities while providing them with various valuable resources to improve their quality of life.