Great Opportunity to Learn How to Best Serve Older Adults

We’ve got great programs, materials and services for kids, teens and parents, and we seem to serve seniors well too, but how valuable are we to baby-boomers? 

Well, here’s a rare free training opportunity that will teach you how to best serve your over 50 patrons, made available through a grant from the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program with additional support from the participating State Libraries and Commissions of ID, CA, OR and WA.

Although the 100 fellowship slots are primarily for librarians in leadership track positions at libraries in California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, a limited number of fellowships are available to applicants from other states.  The deadline for submissions for applicants from CA, ID, OR and WA is 4/2/10, but for applicants from other western states it’s 5/3/10. 

“The year-long Fellowship provides a continuing education scholarship for public library staff and library professionals to advance their library and information science skills related to improving services to and engagement with active, older adults. Fellows will be introduced to a new framework for working with “baby boomers” and midlife adults ages 50+ that promotes productive aging. The Fellowship is based on the recognition that current adult and senior library services often do not reflect the character or interests of today’s “boomer” generation nor do they effectively position public libraries as resources to help adults ages 50+ remain vital and contributing members of their communities. The Fellowship will explore creative strategies for effectively serving and engaging midlife adults that establish public libraries as centers of lifelong learning and civic engagement.

The Fellowship will focus on three primary areas: (1) concepts and research underlying new approaches to working with midlife adults; (2) promising practices in public library services; and (3) leadership skills in community librarianship, including partnership development, assessment strategies, outreach and facilitation, and the uses of new social media.”

Fellows will learn from each other and current leaders and futurists in the fields of aging, health, social sciences, economics, lifelong learning, work, and civic engagement. Fellows will also benefit from the experience of public library leaders who have already implemented Transforming Life After 50 approaches in their local libraries.  The term of the fellowship goes from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.

The Fellowship will include:
1. Enrollment and TLA50 Ning online community participation
2. Review of selected resources and publications
3. Introductory 1 hour webinar
4. In-person training institute in Portland, Oregon
    • September 15-17, 2010
5. Six-month online learning community in building skills and applying lessons learned
    • Requires 4-6 hours of self-paced participation per month
6. Completion of 3 online surveys over the course of the Fellowship

So please, take advantage of this chance to make your library even more invaluable to your residents. 

And post comments here about any services and programs you’ve done at your own library that have been successful with this group.

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