Public Library Programs and Services for Midlife and Beyond
Expanding Opportunities for a Growing Population
by Reneé K. Bennett-Kapusniak
June 2018, 197pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-5778-2
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5779-9
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A manual of public library programming and services for adults ages 50+.

Inspired by trends in U.S. public libraries, this book teaches librarians how to create a welcoming environment that enriches, enlightens, and engages their library's growing aging community.

The number of adults aged 50+ coming to public libraries is steadily increasing. These patrons include active, healthy, tech-savvy professionals; people who have little or no computer training; retirees; travelers; and those who have age-related health and behavior issues. Public libraries have an opportunity to provide services for this growing and varied group. This book teaches librarians how to develop and expand adult public library programming and services, turning their library into a welcoming environment for the aging community.

Public Library Programs and Services for Midlife and Beyond offers practical examples in areas including community collaboration, outreach, marketing, engagement, technology and social media, funding, and lifelong learning. It also incorporates up-to-date findings from the ALA’s Guidelines for Library Services with 60+ Audience: Best Practices. Examples gathered by the author from extensive interviews with public librarians and directors illustrate what a range of libraries is successfully doing for the midlife-and-beyond community and encourage creative thinking about new programs and services.


  • Offers ways to create and expand adult library programs and services and cultivate an appreciation of lifelong learning
  • Combines engagement techniques in community collaboration and outreach with practical strategies in marketing and funding
  • Explores strategies within current U.S. public library adult services and programs for patrons middle-aged and older
  • Details up-to-date ALA guidelines for the 60+ adult population
Reneé K. Bennett-Kapusniak, PhD, is a librarian at Saratoga Springs Public Library. She earned her doctoral degree in information studies with an emphasis on 50+ adults' access and retrieval of information from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She has authored multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology and Public Library Quarterly. She has received several grants, including a fellowship sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program. She assisted with developing the new ALA guidelines for the 50+ population.


"Given the soaring number of library patrons who are 50 years or older, this book couldn't be more timely. . . . Although the book is, obviously, most concerned with the population mentioned in its title, many of the ideas listed will have broader appeal. . . . [T]his is a very thorough resource that should prove useful to libraries that seek to more effectively serve their senior patrons."—Booklist Online, October 4, 2018

"A valuable guide to instruct and inspire public librarians in launching or expanding programs and services for adults 50+... a welcome and informative addition to the professional collection."—Public Library Quarterly, March 29, 2019

"Dr. Bennett-Kapusniak has developed a valuable guide to instruct and inspire public librarians in launching or expanding programs and services for adults 50+. The book is rich with real-world narratives from public librarians on their best practices that may be replicated or used to spark new ideas. The chapters include relevant research that may assist librarians and administrators in demonstrating the importance of serving this particular population to library boards, funders, community partners, and their patrons. This book is sure to move librarians to improve public library programs and services for our aging communities!"—Adriana McCleer, Community Partnerships Supervisor, Appleton Public Library

"A practical and well-organized guide to programs and services for midlife and beyond. Chapters cover a broad scope from programs and technology to marketing and funding. Very good specific examples from libraries around the country."—Holly Kurtz, Librarian, Ontario (CA) City Library, retired

"Dr. Bennett-Kapusniak’s guide is a must-read for adult services personnel and reference librarians who serve patrons over the age of 50. This book has practical and hands-on information from public librarians on the front lines. This timely research is critical for best practices when it comes to this population and their unique needs."—Dr. Jennifer Thiele, Director, Marinette County Library System
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