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Serving Seniors with Panache. Ontario Library Association Conference January 31, 2008. The Human Comedy. “I know, of course, that everyone must die, but I thought an exception would be made in my case.” - William Saroyan. Oshawa. 152,000 population Automotive industry (General Motors)

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serving seniors with panache

Serving Seniors with Panache

Ontario Library Association Conference

January 31, 2008

the human comedy
The Human Comedy

“I know, of course, that everyone must die, but I thought an exception would be made in my case.” - William Saroyan

  • 152,000 population
  • Automotive industry (General Motors)
  • Part of Greater Toronto Area
  • 2005 Environics study
environics study
Environics Study

Blue-Collar Comfort

  • Young, prosperous blue-collar families in exurbia

Mobility Blues

-Young and downscale mobile city singles

Lunch at Tim’s

-Working class old and young in industrial towns and cities

oshawa public libraries
Oshawa Public Libraries
  • Largest library system in Ontario between Toronto and Ottawa
  • Largest library in Durham Region which includes: Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Clarington, Scugog and Uxbridge
oshawa public libraries6
Oshawa Public Libraries
  • The Oshawa Public Library enriches the lives and potential of the people of Oshawa - by connecting them to the world of information and each other.
  • 1.3 million circulations (350,000 items)
  • 1694 programmes delivered to 35,556 customers
  • Strategic Plan 2008 – 2011

Teens, Young Families and Seniors

oshawa public libraries7
Oshawa Public Libraries
  • 4 branches serving very different populations
  • The Northview and Legends Centre branches serve the most seniors
  • Very different seniors at each location
oshawa senior citizens centre
Oshawa Senior Citizens Centre
  • Non-profit, multi-purpose community facilities
  • Adults 55+
  • Promotes the health and welfare and happiness of seniors
  • Empowerment, social interaction, public education & advocacy
seniors demographics
Seniors’ Demographics
  • Different populations of seniors and needs
  • Confident – “I know what I want”
  • Time for Lifelong Learning
  • Club Sandwich Generation
  • Frail seniors
relationship building
Relationship Building
  • Community Bar BQ 2003 where the Northview Branch Manager, the Program Coordinator for Seniors and a senior user discussed partnering
  • Change from the 1980’s!
relationship building11
Relationship Building
  • Meetings at the construction trailer for the new Legends Recreational facility
  • Centre includes 4 NHL sized rinks; a fitness centre; a seniors’ centre, a library and a leisure pool
why partner
Why Partner?
  • Fast growing population
  • Seniors have the most leisure time
  • Cultural content from Library
  • Shared facilities
  • OSCC is a gateway to Outreach for the Library: Day programs, Foot clinics
british isles series
British Isles Series
  • Joint programming gained momentum in 2004 with a British Isles Series:
    • Robbie Burns Day
    • Valentine’s Day
    • St. Patrick’s Day
valentine s day
Valentine’s Day
  • Can be a very lonely day for widowed seniors
  • One program was organized by seniors themselves, supported by the OSCC, including poetry, drama, songs
  • Last year, we celebrated 2 great loves: chocolate and books
  • This year – The Fame of the Rose will be highlighted
organizational cultures
Organizational Cultures
  • All Library programmes are free
  • Business orientation vs. client-centred
  • Union staff vs. Volunteer-based
  • General Public vs. Seniors
organizational cultures20
Organizational Cultures
  • Appreciate each other’s worlds
  • Reaching Jess Hann Branch customers (OPL)
  • Reaching John Street Branch customers (OSCC)
  • Supportive management
seniors advisory group
Seniors’ Advisory Group
  • Bimonthly meetings
  • Brainstorming around programs
  • Membership includes OPL and OSCC staff and seniors
  • A good man is hard to find!
  • Advice from OSCC
  • Learn from staff about seniors
  • Actively solicit input from senior members
  • Buy-in and support from seniors
coffee and news
Coffee and News
  • Piloted at Legends Branch
  • Now a mainstay at every location
  • Seniors like interactive programs
video discussion series
Video Discussion Series
  • “Human Side of World War II”
  • “Harlots and Starlets”
  • “Religions Around the World”
what will i read next
What Will I Read Next?
  • Aka “What should I read Next?” “Lunch and Learn”…

Plan once and deliver at 3 locations

  • Crafty Fiction
  • Scotland Fiction
  • Cookery Fiction
  • “Mummy” Literature
depth of research
Depth of Research
  • Use Novelist and other electronic resources
  • Always include Canadian content
  • History of subject or genre
  • Include quotes and proverbs
  • Find local experts (chefs, religious leaders, etc.)
remembrance day teas
Remembrance Day Teas
  • 2006 – Year of the War Bride
  • 2007 – Focus on Vimy Ridge
oscc day program
OSCC Day Program
  • Adjust times for programs
  • Jake Rude
june is seniors month
June is Seniors’ Month!

Writing Contest

  • 2007 – Memoirs
  • 2008 – Travel Essays
  • Treasured Books and Memories Tea
  • Involved Durham Writers’ Group
afternoon matinee series
Afternoon Matinee Series
  • Lillie Langtry
  • Lord Mountbatten
  • London Walk: Old Docklands
  • Progressive – build up audiences
  • UK rights
intergenerational programmes
Intergenerational Programmes
  • Coronation Street- Canada’s favourite soap opera
    • View an episode together
    • English tea and treats
    • Trivia quiz and prizes
feature programmes
Feature Programmes

Sistine Chapel

Christmas Moon and other delights

Looking for Mona

The Parthenon

joint events
Joint Events
  • Hobby Expo
  • Memories of South Oshawa
  • Technology Fair
community events
Community Events
  • Spring Bar B-Q
  • Swing into Summer
  • South Oshawa Community Day
community events39
Community Events
  • Deck the Halls
  • Health and Wellness Expo
    • Alzheimer’s Society of Durham Region
    • Seniors’ residences
    • Frail Elders’ Alliance
ready set action
Ready, Set, Action!

Library without Walls at OSCC events

  • Displays
  • Pathfinders
  • Registrations and Check-outs
partnership has its benefits
Partnership has its benefits
  • OSCC Speakers’ Bureau
  • Shared programming space
  • Library’s Graphics Department
  • Connections in the community
  • Programme and Activity Guides
  • Newspapers

Seniors plan their week – Library is a bigger drawn than a niche market (i.e., seniors)

  • Flyers and posters
  • Display cases at OSCC
tips for success
Tips for success
  • Be open to partnering
  • It’s about time – take yours!
  • Program timing
  • Library staff’s passions, interests and personalities are always welcome!
tips for success45
Tips for success
  • Don’t segregate seniors – what works for them will often work for others
  • Work with strengths
    • OSCC: Food, music, grass roots presence
    • Library: space, books, knowledgeable staff
canadian library association
Canadian Library Association

Interest Group on Services to Older People:

Canadian Guidelines on Library and Information Services for Older Adults

How to reach seniors without a well-organized seniors’ group in the community
    • Older Centres Association of Ontario
    • Church groups
thank you
Thank You!

Ellen Stroud

Oshawa Public Libraries

Colleen Zavrel

Oshawa Senior Citizens Centre