It's kind of funny! I thought that when I completed teaching my class on library services to older adults for San Jose State University SLIS, that I would have plenty of time to write this blog.
It's Pre-ALA time. Our Committee has several projects that we are working on at Midwinter. Most notably in trying to complete the 1st draft of the Guidelines for Library Service to Older Adults. It is a major undertaking.
What has happened since the last revision was completed in 1998 and approved in 1999, is that a whole new generation of older adults have emerged. Ten years ago we talked quite alot about the Sandwich Generation. You hear very little of that term today. What you hear more of course, is the term Baby Boomer. The fourth revision of the Guidelines need to reflect the Baby Boomer generation.
I think that there is still quite a bit of ageism in the Library profession. The idea that seniors in their 60s and 70s are still working, having sex, and going to the Library seems to be something out of the twilight zone. But as a Boomer myself just turned 55, I can see that my aging is different from that of my parents. Firstly, I never expect to retire 100%. As long as I can work, I will. I don't want to move to a Retirement Community but rather back to New York City to be in the middle of the world with a chance to do everything. I am even thinking about going back to school.
So, how do we plan for this time of life. I don't know. There are no precise answers. Libraries will have to discover what they will do to serve the Baby Boomers over the next 20 years. And each Library's approach will be different as each Children's Department in every Library is different. One size or one approach does not fit all!
I guess that I am more excited about the Senior Spaces Project at the Old Bridge Public Library then I can really put down in paper. This is going to give me a chance to experiment. I want the room to reflect the 3 generations of older adults and I am not sure how to get that message across at the moment. I was thinking of using 3 different colors or many 3 different styles of furniture. I'm not sure yet. I'll have a better idea after ALA Midwinter. I do know that I want an opening ceremony to be something special and that the kick-off should be in May 2007--Older Americans Month.
To find our more about the Senior Spaces Project, look at the BLOG at:
www.seniorspaces.blogspot.com. for more details.
Well, it's time to get off the computer and relax. Look through some catalogs and then to
Chat with you soon,