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The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) presented a webinar on June 17 on providing senior services, and it was excellent.

Here is more information:
Webinar Recording
Access the slides
Full description and speaker information

Highlights of the Webinar

  • Assisted living centers are rarely allowing visitors during the pandemic
  • Assisted living centers may provide tablets for residents to Zoom/Facetime family members and friends
  • Assisted living centers may have large public televisions that can stream videos, play music, surf the internet, etc.
  • Residents can interact with the library via tablets and large smart televisions.
  • Assisted living centers can print resources and activities from a library email, bring a tablet into a resident’s room, or display content on the public television.

All of the steps below are ideas for serving seniors that libraries can use during the pandemic and going forward. These ideas complement curbside pickup services and are convenient to patrons that don’t feel comfortable being in the library. 

  • Create an email list to send out Adult Services information
    • This could include healthcare facilities, parks and recreation departments, houses of worship, senior living centers, Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), Chamber of Commerce, social clubs.
  • Send monthly emails with content or activities gathered around a theme:
    • Book trailers
    • Author readings
    • A recording of a librarian reading from a book, poetry, or article
    • A link to a virtual tour 
    • A link to music 
    • Jokes 
    • An activity: word search, crossword, brain teaser, trivia, coloring sheet.
    • Conversation starters for residents to talk about with caregivers or during phone calls with family members and friends.
    • Accessible and interesting websites

What Else Can You Do?

  • Create a reminder in your calendar to serve seniors on a consistent basis
  • Try Facebook/YouTube/Zoom/Blue Jeans live virtual visits
  • Try “Call in” programs (Zoom/Blue Jeans) for book clubs, sharing circles, music discussions
  • Find partners to help with any costs and/or to serve as guest speakers

Contact Anne Hamland at WVLS if you have questions about the webinar or on providing senior services.