Program Site Type: Libraries

50+ Library Services: Innovation in Action

Some of the most engaged and frequent users of public libraries are over the age of 50. They may also be the most misunderstood. As Baby Boomers continue to swell their ranks, the behavior, interests, and information needs of this demographic have changed dramatically, and Schull’s new book offers the keys to reshaping library services for the new generations of active older adults. A must-read for library educators, library directors, and any information professional working in a community setting, this important book

  • Analyzes key societal trends, such as longer lifespans and improved population health, and their implications for libraries’ work with this demographic
  • Profiles Leading-Edge States and Beacon Libraries from across the nation at the forefront of institutional change
  • Discusses issues such as creativity, health, financial literacy, life planning, and intergenerational activities from the 50+ perspective, while showing how libraries can position themselves as essential centers for learning, encore careers, and community engagement
  • Spotlights best practices that can be adapted for any setting, including samples of hundreds of projects and proposals that illustrate new approaches to 50+ policies, staffing, programs, services, partnerships, and communications

The wisdom and insight contained in this book can help make the library a center for positive aging.

Dances for a Variable Population performers dance in unison.

Partnerships Key to Sustainability for Dances for a Variable Population

Through clear and innovative programming, active demonstration of program benefits, and equal investment in their community of teaching artists and participants, Dances for a Variable Population (DVP) has been able to build successful, lasting relationships with a variety of partner organizations. These partnerships have formed the backbone of their programming, and sustained them throughout the 15 years of their existence.

Annie Montgomery, Teaching Artist

In this interview with Lifetime Arts’ Director of Education, Annie Montgomery, she talks about how her passion for theatre inspired her to become a teaching artist, and how a colleague invited her to co-teach one of Lifetime Arts first pilot program at the New York Public Library. This work opened up opportunities for her to do more work in storytelling, memoir and performance in a more organized capacity. Annie shares her experiences working in this field and with older adult learners.

Paul Ferrara, Teaching Artist

in this interview with visual and performing artist Paul Ferrara, he talks about how he began teaching art on a volunteer basis at a senior center in my neighborhood. He was inspired when he attended an art exhibit from a series of classes taught by teaching artists from Elders Share the Arts, where Dr. Gene Cohen was a featured speaker. At the event, he was encouraged to teach an art class at a branch library in Washington Heights. From there, he became involved with Lifetime Arts. Paul shares his experience along with the joys of teaching older adults.

Bill Wertheim, Teaching Artist

In this interview with poet and artist, Bill Wertheim, he talks about how he got started as a teaching artist, and how he later met Ed Friedman and Maura O’Malley at the Town of Pelham Public Library while teaching poetry/memoir classes. He connected with the work at Lifetime Arts and his career in the Creative Aging took off. Bill shares his experiences with working with older adults, the most satisfying parts of this work, and more.

Dave Johnson, Teaching Artist

In this interview with poet and teaching artist, Dave Johnson, he talks about how he got started as a teaching artist at Poets House, a poetry library in New York City. His teaching artist career led him to teaching poetry workshops to older adults in Brooklyn libraries, but mostly in senior centers, day centers, nursing homes and live-in facilities. Dave also shares his experiences working with older adults, along with the skills, challenges, surprises and rewards.

Celia Caro, Teaching Artist

In this interview with mixed-media artist, Celia Caro, she talks about how she got started as a teaching artist and how one of her colleagues at Pratt, Paul Ferrara, introduced her to the Creative Aging field. This led to Celia co-teaching a Lifetime Arts program at the Countee Cullen branch of the New York Public Library. Celia also talks about her biggest surprises, challenges and rewards with working with older adult learners.