By Diantha Dow Schull
Some of the main engaged and widespread clients of public libraries are over the age of fifty. they might even be the main misunderstood. As child Boomers proceed to swell their ranks, the habit, pursuits, and knowledge wishes of this demographic have replaced dramatically, and Schull's new publication bargains the keys to reshaping library providers for the recent generations of lively older adults. A must-read for library educators, library administrators, and any info specialist operating in a neighborhood surroundings, this significant book:
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Extra resources for 50+ Library Services. Innovation in Action
What factors, aside from aging trends, have been responsible for a shift in librarians’ perceptions of older adults and the kinds of services they offer or would like to offer? Has change been prompted by individual leaders, new sources of dedicated funds, professional development opportunities, library and information science education, inspiring service models in other professions, or pressure from local patrons? All of these factors have undoubtedly played a role, with different emphases in different locations.
At the very time when 50+ services were beginning to gain attention as a distinct specialty and when several influential states were exerting leadership as proponents of change, the recession undermined new initiatives at the local and state levels. With an economic turnaround the momentum that has started should pick up and move forward again. The Problem of Language In addition to the challenges outlined above, librarians seeking to expand their work with midlife adults face another kind of challenge: the problem of language.
Despite extensive electronic communications, with WebJunction, blogs, state library e-newsletters, webinars, Facebook, and the like, there is no common mechanism for exchange of ideas and presentation of practices that can inform and inspire librarians across the country. This problem and the likelihood that it would impede librarian responses to aging trends was pointed out by Constance Van Fleet at an early meeting of the Libraries for the Future’s Lifelong Access Libraries initiative. Unfortunately, six years later the problem still exists: “The obstacles to progress come mainly from the lack of a cohesive lifelong learning framework and of a way of disseminating innovation throughout the library community.