By Barbara T. Mates
5-Star Programming and companies to your fifty five+ Library shoppers (Ala Programming publications)
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Extra resources for 5-Star Programming and Services for Your 55+ Library Customers (Ala Programming Guides)
11 These factors work to make ambulatory seniors housebound, keeping them from being a part of the community and the library. Some seniors also experience emotional changes as they age. 12 Seniors experiencing these changes may need to be convinced that there is a place for them in the library and that the library is there to offer them recreational and educational opportunities. They will have to be drawn out of their cocoons. Some tips for working with seniors experiencing cognitive, emotional, and social changes follow: Place emphasis on personal contact to draw people out of their world and into the library’s.
Although the library’s building may be new, staff should not assume that ADA mandates have been met. This situation can arise because someone didn’t double-check calculations, thought the design presented a better “look” for the area, or tried to save construction costs. The library’s ADA coordinator and his or her staff should do a building and ground “walk” and “wheel” to ensure that the designer has heeded the requirements. Time is not always kind to structures and buildings. Areas that once were adequate may have become worn with age or modified to a point at which they no longer comply.
Seniors will sense signs of indifference or patronization and will not return in the future. Respect Basic Human Needs Staff should be aware that human beings have needs throughout their lifetimes. These needs do not stop when the calendar changes our age from fifty-four to fiftyfive or seventy-nine to eighty. Although many of our needs stay the same as we age, 27 the degree of need may vary. The following are just some of the basic needs of older adults: • To be loved and praised regardless of age • To be needed and respected despite limitations • To be given credit for what you know • To be given choices and allowed to make mistakes • To be productive, to be effective, to have goals • Companionship • Security and consistency • Privacy • Beauty • Intellectual stimulation • Meaningful recreation1 These concepts are actually the nucleus of both the written and unwritten mission and vision statements of many libraries; however, there is a tendency to fulfill the mission and visions by focusing on youth.
5-Star Programming and Services for Your 55+ Library Customers (Ala Programming Guides) by Barbara T. Mates