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LETTER: Libraries and older adults - A perfect match

This reader letter highlights the spaces, programs, resources and events available at your public library
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ThoroldNews recieved the following letter to the editor from Carrie Bosco, customer service librarian at the Niagara Falls Public Library:

On an easel in the Library’s art gallery, there’s a painting of a lighthouse and a boat that is careful to avoid the danger the lighthouse hails. There is a woman picking up deliveries for those who are unable to leave their home - she will brighten someone’s day with a smile and some Library materials. A husband and wife bring in their iPads to get a bit of help from Library staff to download the newest digital platform for eBooks and audiobooks. These are all examples of how older adults interact with their Library and there are many more.

Libraries in the 21st century are vibrant, dynamic places that offer a wide variety of information, space and materials for everyone - especially older adults! In a recent article written by Diane Peters entitled, How Ontario communities are making themselves more senior-friendly (TVO.org), she quotes that Ontario’s older adult (65 years+) population is expected to reach 25 per cent by 2041. So how can the local public library be of value to those finding themselves in this category?

The Library has space! - welcoming space. For those looking to get a group together or to sit quietly and work on a project, libraries provide space. Imagine a local age-friendly group meeting at the Library to discuss upcoming issues and events. Having the opportunity to meet together socially in a free, accessible space can increase happiness and sense of belonging and can decrease the social isolation that older adults may experience at times.

The Library has interesting programs! Tracing your family roots and learning to use the Ancestry Library edition digital tool saves time for those working on family histories - libraries provide programs to do just that. Libraries can also help support wellness in providing programs such as meditation, self-care and learning the benefits of essential oils.

The Library has resources! In addition to its physical collections, which can include, board games, local history archives and audiobooks, libraries offer digital platforms for older adults to access such services as magazines, newspapers music, movies, ebooks, audiobooks and language learning online. The library can offer access to makerspace equipment such as 3D printing, VHS conversion and Photoshop software.

The Library has events! Older adults can take advantage of a great variety of events that are hosted by the Library. Free movie events are a great way to enjoy the latest feature films. Listening to a celebrated author reading their latest title can bring that book to life, and music which brings everyone together in community, experiencing local culture right in the Library!

Here are just a few of the great programs, events and resources at your local library in the Niagara area:

Pick Up And Play orchestra takes place at the Niagara Falls Public Library on Wednesdays in April from 6 - 8 p.m. Dust off your old instrument and make some music again. Registration is required please call 905-356-8080.

Join the group from Lincoln for Books and Brews. A once-a-month book discussion of the Lincoln Public Library at Bench Brewing, 3991 King St., Beamsville. Books and Brews meets the last Monday of the month at 7 p.m. Please call 905-563-7014 to register.

Get healthy at the Grimsby Public Library with Nutrition and Body Detox at a session with whole foods expert Cindy Gouweloos, who will help participants understand how whole foods can heal and prevent chronic lifestyle diseases. Call 905-945-5142 to register.

Carrie Bosco
Customer service librarian, Niagara Falls Public Library
AFNN Leadership Council member




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