200 public libraries in 48 states Featured on NPRs This American Life in August of 2005 High Strung, rooftop of Kansas City Public Library
Seniors vote at a high proportion than any other demographic We need them as allies Bold prediction: Senior Services Librarians
According to a study by the Administration on Aging, about 1 out of 8 Americans is 65 or older. This is triple the figure since 1900. By 2030, the number of adults 65 or older will double again. U.S. Census Bureau. Older Population in the United States: March 2002. www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/p20-546.pdf In 2000, the 65 to 74 age group was 8 times larger than in 1900; but the 75 to 84 group was 16 times larger and the 85 and older group was 34 times larger According to the Administration on Aging, the 85 and older group is the fastest growing segment of the population
Boomers name 80 as starting point of old age; compared to 51 for their parents Many boomers, unwilling to let life end at retirement, plan to start 2 nd careers or a business when retire Between 1970 & 2000, Seniors who completed high school rose from 28% to 70%, and in 2000 about 16% had bachelors degree or more USA Today reported that adult 65+ spend an 1 hour 15 minutes reading every day, more than any other age group
Why do we need to do this? More than ever, libraries need to prove they are innovative deeply connected to their communities, especially stakeholders essential to the success of these communities
Why do we need to do this? Partnerships and outreach mean: You are spending resources wisely by joining forces with other groups You are not sitting at the reference desk and waiting for people to come to you With each new effort, you are creating new advocates for the library Put a face on the library! Think like an entrepreneur, not a librarian
Why do we need to do this? Partnerships and outreach mean: You are taking advantage of the creativity, networks, and expertise that exist in all communities We face an ongoing struggle to redefine the role of the library so no one considers it a frivolous or unnecessary service
Why do we need to do this? It all comes down to money Ultimately, partnerships and outreach are key to sustaining funding levels and support through good times and bad
Identify Our Audience Find out who the movers and shakers are in your community Remember, the people we need to reach are many and varied
Pretty Persuasion Direct Outreach Grassroots Word of Mouth Talk-Action = Irrelevancy
Advocacy You need to be advocates because you and those who work in your library are the first line of defense against claims of irrelevance, displacement by technology, demotion on the list of community priorities, declining literacy, and ultimately, erosion of the memory of our collective communities - Libraries Prosper with Passion, Purpose and Persuasion (PLA Toolkit)
Tips & Tricks Consider every interaction an opportunity to do outreach and build partnerships Make everyone look good Dont assume its someone elses job Look for the snowball effect
You Can Do It! The first step is the hardest Ask yourself: Whats the worst that could happen? Whats the best that could happen? Think like an entrepreneur, your audience wont expect it. Destroy the stereotype that librarians do nothing but sit around and read books all day Write down the first idea you got today and follow the plan when you get back to work
Why Do We Need To Do This, Again? Partnerships and outreach are advocacy and a core part of your job Be a leader, not a follower Dont wait for somebody else to do it
Keys To Programming Success Dont Ask for Permission Take It To The Streets Dont be lazy! Make It Fun! Libraries are more than just dusty repositories f or books!
Program Title: Senior Health Series Program Description: Chelsea Community Hospital and the Chelsea District Library Present A Free Health Education Seminar Series on Women's Health Issues. Collaborations such as this will continue to be an important part of the future of libraries. Budgets at most academic and public libraries are static or declining, thus limiting services. Growing older successfully requires the maintenance of body and mind. This series of programs will offer tips on how to take care of both the physical and psychological changes of aging. Topics: Food Fads and Facts Nutrition Sleep Menopause Osteoporosis Memory Speakers: Staff members of the local hospital Visiting nurse Basics: Length – four 1-hour sessions Auditorium style seating Extras: Snacks and refreshments Literature and handouts on topics Marketing Library & Hospital newsletters, distribute flyers at the hospital, doctors offices, clinics, senior centers, and residential homes Feature article about collaboration in local paper.
Program Title: A Day in the Life of Chelsea Program Description: If your house is anything like our library, it has a shelf full of cookbooks – most of which are filled with dazzling photos of all kinds of food dishes. Some of them are mouth-watering to look at. We are giving you 24 hours to document a delicious dining experience through your eyes, from the way its prepared, to its presentation, to the way it is eaten. Pick up a disposable camera at the library. Photos will be posted in a special exhibit on the library web site. Registration required. Topics: Photography Community Basics: Registration is Required Try to limit numbers to 15 or 20 Buy 15 disposable cameras from local camera shop and work out a deal (lean on them about promoting locally) Notify seniors when the galleries are on the librarys web page You can use multiple themes, or make it more generic Extras: Make double copies of prints so patrons can keep copy Marketing Newsletter, website, senior center and residential facilities, and dont forget camera shop The editor of the Ann Arbor News write an editorial pronouncing me a genius and wishing more libraries got in the business of preserving our local heritage, and a towns character, and encouraging libraries all over the country to follow my lead.
Program Title: Cemetery Ghost Hunt Program Description: Haunted houses? Cemeteries with ghosts? Explore the supernatural as the Ghost Hunters of Southern Michigan (GHOSM) reveal evidence of paranormal phenomena captured during their investigations. Then, join the Ghost Hunters of Southern Michigan (GHOSM) on a search for ghostly activities at Chelseas Oak Grove Cemetery. Registration is required. Topics: Paranormal investigations True Stories How to go on a ghost hunt Speakers: Local ghost hunters group. They are everywhere. Just do a Google search, youll find one. Basics: Length – Two sessions (presentation – 1 ½ hours; ghost hunt – 2 hours) For the ghost hunt, people will need to bring flashlights, warm clothes (if you do it after dark around Halloween), tape recorder, video recorder, and cameras. Be prepared to address the issue of the occult. You have to have guts to do a program like this, because staff and members of community will give you grief about it. Dont be afraid to take risks, even if you dont buy into this stuff you have to remember that we are here to serve all walks of life, plus a little controversy at the library is always a good thing. Helps keep us on the map! Extras: Invite member of historical society to lead a guided tour of cemetery before the extra ghost hunt. Not only will it remind people that you arent introducing the occult, but its all about fun. Marketing: Library newsletter and website, which is all you need as people will literally come out of the woodwork to attend this program. Ive done in four or five times, not just with seniors, but with teens too. Patrons who didnt know the library even existed will come as if making a trek to Mecca. Be prepared to be overwhelmed.
Program Title: Meet the Beatles Program Description: An informal look at all aspects of The Beatles (their songs, films, album concepts, fiction, poetry, theater, essays, cartoons, and more). Well look at the history, the myths, the legends, the secrets, the lies, and the reality of it all. M.L. Liebler, professor at Wayne State University, will lead the discussion and supply rare essays and writings of The Beatles in addition to seldom seen Video/DVD footage. Registration is required. Something that grandparents will want to bring their grand kids too. Topics: The Beatles Pop Music Speakers: Local expert or professor Record store owner Musician Radio DJ The librarian Basics: Length – 5 part series at 1 hour each Theater style seating LCD projector w/laptop, audio equipment for playing CDs or DVDs Extras: Beatles book (of which there are no shortages) display for checkout Decorate room with posters Get the audience involved by asking them where they were when the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan Encourage patrons to bring their own memorabilia and stories to share Marketing: In addition to marketing in library newsletter and website, hit the residential homes, and the senior center.
Program Title: Monopoly Tournament Program Description: Monopoly Tournament for Seniors. Prizes will be awarded to winners. Topics: Board Games Speakers: You, the librarian Basics: Set up tables or game tables for four players at each. Go over the game rules, explain challenges will work. Each player will be responsible for managing their own properties and money, and chose one player to be banker or assign a volunteer. You will have to set up a time limit for each round as Monopoly can drag on forever, but generally keep it to 30 to 40 minute rounds. Registration should be for 24 players. Follow the instructions for hosting a Monopoly Tournament provided by Hasbro. Hasbro will mail for free enough brand-new copies of Monopoly for you to use for your tournament. In addition, they will send a separate box with 4 other new board games that you can use to give out as prizes. Do not wait to the last minute to submit the proper documentation. You want to make sure you have the games and prizes in hand in advance. This is a long day. The tournament will take a few hours to complete. Extras: Serve refreshments between rounds and provide pizza or a giant party sub at the half-way point. If you cant afford pizza, contact the local pizza establishment or chain and ask for a donation. Youll be surprised at what you will receive. Marketing Distribute flyers to churches, day care centers, senior centers, apartment complexes. This program is great to take on the road to nursing homes or senior centers, and senior residential facilities.
Program Title: Nintendo Wii for Seniors – Not Your Grandkids Nintendo Anymore! Program Description: Put your virtual bowling skills to the test. If you are not familiar with the Wii, please join us for our kick off event. We will be setting up bowling leagues, golf, tennis, and more. Wii approximates the motion of the games you enjoy because it requires players to swing a motion-detector controller like a bowling ball, tennis racquet, or golf club. This is the hottest thing going! Everyone is welcome to participate and become part of the fun. Don't let your grandkids have all the fun! Topics: Video Gaming Speakers: You Basics: Nintendo Wii (retails for $250 – If you cant afford it, ask the Friends to purchase it) At least four Wii game controllers TV or a big screen projector if you have it Ideal for partnering with senior center, nursing home, or residential home Be patient, this is a very hands-on project. Many of them probably never played a video game in their life Extras: You need to offer cold drinks as people will work up a thirst Cookies, light snack Marketing: Both the library and senior center newsletters, distribute fliers at nursing homes, senior residential homes To hype it, do a demonstration for your staff and the Friends of the library so they understand why the library is investing in it.
Program Title: Senior Lock-In Program Description: Together with the Chelsea Senior Center, join us for the first ever Senior lock-in at the library. The library will close at 6pm and reopen at 6:30pm. We will feature a host of activities including a Hawaiian rib dinner, massage therapist, flower arranging with Gigis Flowers, Fortune Teller, Nintendo Wii, and more. Dont miss out on this exciting event. Space is limited so register now! Topics: Video Games Food Massage Therapy Flower Arranging Tarot cards Card games Speakers: Local Flower shop owner Local massage therapist Senior center activities director Adult Services Librarian Tarot Reader Basics: If your library isnt big enough, you may have to host this offsite at a residential facility or senior center Cater in dinner Set up programming room cafeteria style to serve dinner Separate staging areas or rooms for the massage therapist, tarot reader, card tables (Bridge), Nintendo Wii, flower arranging activity Stage lock-in on a Friday or Saturday night from 6:30 to 10pm
Program Title: Senior Lock-In Extras: Cold beverages and cookies for people to snack on since this is a long night Make sure you recruit volunteers to help set up, coordinate, and clean up after everyone leaves Marketing: Library newsletter and website, distribute fliers at senior centers, nursing homes, and senior residential facilities Notes: The best senior program Ive ever done, and maybe the first of its kind at any library Its expensive, but you can find ways to do it cheaper
Local History Programming Local history matters Preserving the history of the community Same concept as partnering, dont wait for the information to come to you Rebrand the library by creating your own content Tie programming into your local history Great PR for the library
Oral History Projects Program Description: We experimented first by inviting three local veterans of WWII to participate in a panel discussion about their experiences during WWII. To create hype for the event, we worked with the Chelsea Senior Center and staged a special luncheon to honor our veterans. The luncheon was provided by and held at the CSC. The following week we invited the community to come to the library for the panel discussion, which we captured on film. We asked each veteran a series of questions and gave them time to respond. After, we encouraged the audience to ask questions as well. Why does this work? Remember what I said about not waiting for the information to come to you, be in the business of creating content. Rebrand the library and youll help us all remain relevant As you know, WWII veterans are dying off at a rate of over 1000 per day. We wanted to take action and capture some local heros testimonies and preserve it for historical record. With our video editing software, our plan is to convert their testimonies to tape and burn them on a DVD which we will then place in our collection. My dream was that 50 years from now their great, great, grandchildren could come in and see for themselves their relative on tape. Again, we are creating the content instead of waiting for it to come to us Wonderful way for you to network and partner with local historical groups and museums, who often struggle for funding themselves. We work together to achieve common goals and then share our materials Can you imagine the goodwill you create in the community when sons, daughters, and grandchildren come back to us and bend over backwards to thank us for recognizing their parent in this way. You cant buy that kind of feedback
One Room Schoolhouse Project Due to the success of this World War II project, the Chelsea Senior Center and the library partnered again and we were recently awarded with a $6000 grant to do another, more extensive oral history project about one- room school houses. At one time, there were 24 one-room school houses in the Chelsea area. Our idea is to interview the students and teachers about their experiences at these institutions. Although this started as a partnership, you better believe this is something that the entire community is going to rally around, from the schools to the historical museum. The concept is the same. We have been interviewing and capturing on film these people and preserving it for the historical record. There are even plans in place to create a book. There has been a tremendous buzz and we have had people contacting us from all over the country, who grew up in Chelsea and want to be a part of this special project. To date, we have logged over 35 hours of video tape. Our plan is to condense that down into an hour long film and house it in our collection and possibly promote it as a model to inspire other libraries We staged special events to set up an environment in which to film former students and capture their stories, including: - Special luncheons - A picnic at a local farm - A visit to a one-room school house that is still functional and standing
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