Updated: Oct 15
When I was a child, my mother took me to the local library, where I checked out up to four books at a time. As an elder, I continue to appreciate the ever expanding library services. Libraries are offering more and more services to pre-schooler through elders.
The assisted living communities where I worked were fortunate to have an ongoing relationship with their local library. Following are a few of the services the libraries provided:
Librarian monthly visit and presentation at the community
Books freely donated to the community
Free audio devices for the hearing impaired, plus audio discs of books
Special opera film showings with live orchestra
Scheduled tours of the hearing impaired library rooms
Free tech training from mobile library at the community
More recently, library services have expanded to include even more services, including, but not limited to the following:
Storywalks A StoryWalk® is a fun, family-friendly, outdoor activity, where pages of a book are placed along a walking route. Each stop along the way displays one page of the book. Though this activity features children's books, any age can enjoy and learn from it.
Expanded borrowing of physical items at one time (i.e. 100 books/magazines, 20 Books on CD, 20 DVDs, 20 music CDs)
No more fees for overdue books; replacement for lost or damaged material still apply
Entended check-out and automatic renewal of some items
Expanded book return, such as book drops
More and more online services
Public computers and equipment (including ADA compliant computers + library printer)
Link+ is a group of more than 60 libraries across California and Nevada that you can borrow items from for free, using Marin County library card. If an item is not available from Marin County libraries, it may be possible to borrow it from one of the library's Link+ partners.
Libraries offer many more free services, which have been deeply appreciated by elders and families, especially since the Pandemic. On-site "story times" are coming back, plus distance-delivered and even on-site presentations on topics of interest to library attendees, even if you don't like to read books.
If you've read my blog posts, you know how excited I am about elders reading books with youngsters that have a musical (and film) component. Among the benefits of libraries for all ages are that books and related music are enjoyable, they expand the mind, sharpen the brain, enhance reading/listening skills, and provide lifelong opportunities for intergenerational connections (i.e., tutoring in schools, pre-school activities, page-to-screen groups). Before I buy a book, I check it out from the library to determine if I really want it. Do you have additional stories to share about the role of libraries in your life or in your elder community? If so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.