Saturday, August 27, 2011

Libraries Uniquely Positioned to Present Opportunities to Older Adults

A new portrait of aging: The older-than-50 crowd won't sit still to be stereotyped. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 8/25/2011)

Excerpt:     One group that has caught on to this market is public libraries.

Libraries are "uniquely positioned" to present opportunities to older adults, said Marilyn A. Jenkins, executive director of the Allegheny County Library Association.

Libraries in Allegheny County have programs that range from starting your own business to investing wisely, brewing your own beer and cooking Indian food.

Whitehall Public Library recently received a grant to dedicate a room to the interests of older adults.

Since the senior room opened this year, the library has held a program every day, ranging from movies to knitting classes to game-playing sessions.

One afternoon a week, about 10 older adults meet at the library for a conversation salon, where they discuss current events, said Denise Ignasky, adult services coordinator for Whitehall Public Library.

"I think what I've noticed most is adults 50-plus are actively engaged in their community, are interested in lifelong learning and keeping current with technology," she said.

Indeed, for many older adults, life at age 50, 60, 70 and beyond is vastly different from the life their grandparents, and even their parents, led at that age

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