On the Go with Senior Services

Library Programs for Any Time and Any Place

by Phyllis Goodman


Use these field-tested program ideas as they are or as a springboard for new programs.

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Cover image for On the Go with Senior Services

February 2020

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 150
Volumes 1
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Adult Services and Programs/Senior Populations
  Librarian's Instructional Role/General
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Not only does this book offer insights into how to better serve all seniors, but it also provides complete step-by-step instructions for dozens of exciting and engaging programs that can be held both onsite and offsite.

While serving the senior population is a standard service in public libraries, it has traditionally focused on in-house programs and homebound services. On the Go with Senior Services is different. With this inspiring and practical guide, your library can rejuvenate its in-house services with new programs and also take them on the road—to retirement and assisted living communities, adult day care programs, and nursing homes and rehab centers.

With such diversity in the senior population, this book describes strategies for designing senior programs that fit your community's needs. It offers a trove of templates for programs that range from crafts, word games, pop culture, pets, holidays, humor, mysteries, technology, and music. It offers tips and suggestions on how to interact with seniors, including those who may have a variety of physical and cognitive needs. There are also guidelines for working with individuals suffering from dementia. A robust list of further resources is provided.

The growing population of seniors presents librarians with new challenges and opportunities, and this book is a valuable guide to navigating and embracing them.


    • Features program templates with step-by-step instructions guaranteed to save you time
    • Offers ideas for programs that can be conducted at the library or offsite senior facilities
    • Provides surefire ideas for working with seniors and technology
    • Covers segments of the senior population not thoroughly addressed in other professional sources, helping librarians fill in or expand into areas
    • Includes guidance on working with seniors with dementia or Alzheimer's
Author Info

Phyllis Goodman is a recently retired librarian who worked more than 25 years in library services and education. She began her library career as a youth services librarian and used many of the same programming skills when she joined adult services at two library systems in Southwest Ohio. She worked to create programs for adults in-house and for adults who were not able to visit the library. She conducted staff training, served on the reader's advisory committee and contributed to the library blog. This is her first book.



"This work is a helpful and necessary tool for a librarian involved in and responsible for programming for seniors. I recommend this book, as it fills a void in training and offers insight into characteristics and experiences associated with aging as well as programming guidance and suggestions. Particularly informative are the profiles of the different groups included within the aging population demographic." —Elizabeth Tait, Adult Services Librarian, Westerville Public Library

"This well-researched book will inspire librarians to connect in imaginative ways with seniors in their community. The accessible, instructional writing will be appreciated not only by those new to programming, but also by experienced librarians who can adapt the structure and themes for their patrons."—Beth Flerlage, Assistant Librarian/The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple

"On the Go with Senior Services is a highly readable, well researched, comprehensive guide to outreach, including many ready-to-go programs. Even first-timers will feel like pros in no time!"—Martha Matthews, Adult Programming Coordinator, MidPointe Library System

"Providing programming at senior living facilities may be uncharted territory for many libraries. If you're looking to begin offering programs for senior residents, start your research with this book. Find inspiration to take seniors to the past or around the world, make everyone an artist or author, empower them to use technology confidently, and connect with people living with dementia."—Jennie Fidler, Special Services Coordinator, Oconomowoc Public Library

Other Titles of Interest

Public Library Programs and Services for Midlife and Beyond cover imageDesigning Adult Services cover imageLibrary Services for Immigrants and New Americans cover image
Serving Those Who Served cover imageInformation Services to Diverse Populations cover imageFostering Family History Services cover image

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