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find the common ground between being helpful and encouraging lifelong learning without the unintentional, “you’re outdated,” context?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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Chronicles of an Intern

Day: 3

Orientation has come and gone and now beings the work.

These first few days at Skokie Public Library have been overwhelmingly positive. Each staff member has been welcoming, the building warm and inviting, and the overall feel of the community strong within the building. Although my primary focus will be in senior services, I am glad to have the opportunity to learn about librarianship in such a concrete organization.

Having grown up with a strong grandparental presence, I have a passion for working with seniors and making sure that their needs and wants are met – great start for a senior services intern, right? Well, in the short amount of time I’ve spent at the SPL thus far, it is clear that there is more to catering to our seniors than I had anticipated.

Isolation, poverty, and accessibility are just a few topics that effect our seniors liveliness. With SPL offering services such as homebound delivery, opportunities for socializing and learning through programing, even collaborations with government workers to provide resources and aid to seniors goes above and beyond my expectations.

I look forward to learning more about senior services and to collaborations with various SPL staff to learn more about the library in general. I’m honored and very proud to be welcomed to the SPL team and gain the experience of a lifetime!

Lydia Montemayor
Senior Services Intern
Skokie Public Library
LMontemayor@skokielibrary.info


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