Get Ready Savvy Seniors!

I am so excited (and incredibly nervous) to be leading the Savvy Skokie Seniors program for the second half of my internship here at SPL!

After researching trends in Senior Services in the US and putting together report with my findings, it was very interesting to see what libraries currently offer the seniors in their communities and the general consensus of what seniors want the library to offer.

While seniors are grateful and receptive to senior programming there is one detail that typically holds them back – they don’t want to be reminded that they are old. Seniors are more inclined to join in adult programming than senior programming.

Given this information, how do libraries find the common ground between being helpful and encouraging lifelong learning without the unintentional, “you’re outdated,” context? Librarian Kathleen Mayo proposes that libraries approach senior services the same as they do children, teens, and adults: identify services based off of their interests and abilities rather than age.

Such a simple concept!

This is what I have tried to keep in mind for Savvy Skokie Seniors. Our first session in January I am most excited for – we are having a story telling session (inspired by The Moth) on the topic of Gumption:

Description: Join us for a story sharing session inspired by The Moth organization. Prepare a story about go-getting. A moment of courageousness, spirit, or spunk. Tackling large obstacles, admitting mistakes, and times of nervousness. “Tell us about your gutsiest gamble and the mettle that forged them. You’ve got moxie, kid!”

I can’t wait to share with you all the successes (and not to successful aspects) of the program! Stay tuned!

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6 thoughts on “Get Ready Savvy Seniors!

  1. Matt MacKellar says:

    I’ve really appreciated your thoughtful approach to senior services so far during your internship, including the research you’ve done. I agree that the last thing seniors want is any sense of being condescended to. I’m excited to see what you’re developing for the Savvy Skokie Seniors in the first part of 2020!

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  2. Lydia R says:

    Hey Lydia,

    Everyone’s got a story to tell, so your program is going to go over well! Too bad our Storytelling class is next semester and not this one…. 🙂 Your commitment to making everyone feel welcome and enthusiastic about lifelong learning is inspiring!

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  3. quetzallivcortez says:

    No one likes to be reminded that they are getting older, so it makes sense that libraries should approach programs for seniors the same way they approach programming for adults! I’m excited for you to lead Savvy Skokie Seniors in January–I know that you’ll do great!

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  4. You research sounds like it was a great introduction to the field of serving older adults. I bet it helped you build the gumption you’ll need for leading the program! Telling our stories sounds like it’s right in line with being an inclusive, engaged, and resilient community. Thank you for your contributions to our services, Lydia!

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