Inside The Library: Seniors’ Month a time to try something new

June is Seniors’ Month in Ontario. In the library world we identify and plan programming and collection purchases to target every demographic we serve in the community. Seniors are an identified group. We often find ourselves struggling with this – how do we define a senior? We certainly are not going to ask for ID so that you can gain admittance to a senior’s program. Nor, do we want to in any way discourage anyone who does not consider themselves a senior from attending one of our programs.

This year, the theme for the month is “Now’s the time to start something new.” That works perfectly with our mission to “Enrich lives by fostering lifelong learning and ensuring that every member of the community has access to a vast array of ideas and resources.”

Once again this year to help us to achieve this we are teaming up with our partner Community Care for Seniors. Community Care for Seniors, located at 74A King Street, Picton, offers a wide range of services for seniors. They help seniors live at home. They do this in a number of ways by driving seniors to appointments, make daily calls to seniors for telephone reassurance, visit shut-ins, host luncheons in many areas of the county and of course deliver Meals on Wheels — hot or frozen meals.

The library has enjoyed partnering with Community Care, attending and speaking at many of their luncheons. It is a great way to introduce our service to people who may not know what the library has to offer.

Staff really enjoy an invitation from Community Care to attend one of these get togethers. The groups are always welcoming and interested in what we have to say. Those who already use our services are eager to speak up and endorse the library – they do our work for us!

Over this past year our topics have included a general description of our range of services, advice on the use of technologies, and we have taken an assortment of books and DVDs that diners could check out on the spot. This week Liz Zylstra and Ruth Dwight attended a Community Care luncheon at Wellington United Church. They introduced the lunch crowd to a new program that the library is offering – drumming! Ruth took an assortment of our drums and with some rudimentary instruction a new drumming circle was born. The drummers gave the experience rave reviews.

When visiting the Community Care office you may have noticed a cart full of books. For over a year now the library has been sending its deselected large print books to the Community Care office. These books are available to put in time in the waiting room or to take home to read at your leisure. On the cart as well you will find information about our library services. This year we will be expanding this service to Community Care’s foot care clinics in Wellington and Rossmore. As well, Community Care staff have graciously agreed to offer a free book and membership information when they do an intake at a home visit or in the office.

Again this year in June to celebrate Seniors’ Month, watch for your free book from the library delivered by your Meals on Wheels volunteer. With it you will get information on how the library can serve you better. If you are not already a member call the number on the material provided with the book (613-399-2023) and ask for Liz. She will be happy to sign you up for our delivery service on an ongoing basis.

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Debbie MacDonald Moynes and her great staff for the wonderful work that they do in Prince Edward County and for the help that they have given the library to achieve our mutual goal of enriching the lives of seniors in the community.

-Barbara Sweet