50+ Library Services: Innovation in Action

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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.

Instructors: Interested in adopting this title as a textbook? Request an instructor's desk copy.

  Preface Acknowledgments Introduction  1 Leading-Edge States2 Beacons of Change 3 Work, Careers, and Services4 Reflections and Transitions 5 Health and Wellness 6 Information Technology and Social Media 7 Creativity 8 Information and Community Connections 9 Lifelong Learning 10 Intergenerational Programs and Services 11 Financial Planning and Business Development 12 The 50+ Place  Index 

Diantha Dow Schull

Diantha Dow Schull is an advisor to libraries, museums, and foundations on organizational and program development. She was formerly president of Libraries for the Future and the Americans for Libraries Council. Earlier, she was executive director of the French-American Foundation, director of exhibitions and education at the New York Public Library, director of interpretive programs at the Library of Congress, and assistant director of the Museum Aid Program of the New York State Council on the Arts. Schull serves on the board of the Connecticut Humanities Council. She is the author of numerous articles on cultural institutions and was coeditor, with Pauline Rothstein, of Boomers and Beyond: Reconsidering the Role of Libraries.

"Chock full of enterprising, innovative, engaging, and successful library services and programs … I found most engaging the various sidebars for each program that list facts, along with the many testimonial quotes by participants that are interspersed throughout the presentation of the content … This is an excellent book that explains well this new service model for libraries, and it has many examples to fuel discussion and brainstorming for libraries interested in offering services to the growing 50+ age group."
--Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship

"Demonstrates that the library is poised to become a major hub for elders who wish to connect with others and to expand their knowledge … This book is a vital resource for any public library that is looking to optimize their services for the Baby Boomer group to build community and collaboration within and outside of the library walls."
--Public Libraries

"As Tempe Public Library's slogan so aptly puts it, ‘the rest of your life begins with a cup of coffee.' 50+ Library Services inspires librarians to do the same: start the coffee conversation with our own communities and respond to the needs of adults finding the next chapter in their lives. Highly recommended for all public libraries regardless of size, this book would serve as an excellent text for MLS and LTA coursework on public library programming. "
— Reference & User Services Quarterly

"This book will be extremely useful for a library that wishes to not just meet the needs of their 50+ years-old population, but would like some original ideas on how to exceed them."
— Journal of Library Innovation