Using the Creative Aging Toolkit for Public Libraries

Congratulations! If you are reading this, you are likely preparing to offer creative aging programs in your library. An exciting and fulfilling experience lies ahead.

We recommend that you explore the entire toolkit in order to be fully informed and equipped for the journey. Let’s get started.


bulb 1. LEARN

First, review the Aging & Libraries section to access Aging Trends and topics including: Demographics; Longevity & Health; New Patterns of Work, Retirement & Learning; as well as consider common Impediments to Positive Aging.

Next, browse Implications for Libraries, Public Programs and 50+ Services, and discover the ways that Creative Aging Programs position the library as a center for learning and creativity for older adults.

The Creative Aging section defines the concept, provides background information on the Theory & Practice, details Programming Models in Libraries and for Other Organizations.


plan2. PLAN

Next, review the steps involved in Planning a Program. In this section you will learn about (1) assessing your patrons’ needs and interests, and consider how your programming will benefit from (2) forging community partnerships. You will understand how teaching artists differ from regular artists and (3) find out how to select and hire one. Together, you and your teaching artist will (4) Develop a Curriculum and Budget, and finally, you will discover what (5) your options are related to funding.


alarm-clock3. IMPLEMENT

In the Implementation Guidelines section you will explore issues and strategies related to funding and sustaining your program:

  1. Coordinating Logistics
  2. Recruiting Participants
  3. Preparing Space and Materials
  4. Monitoring, Documenting and Evaluating
  5. Organizing a Culminating Event
  6. Focus on Sustainability

laptop4. ACCESS

The Resources section offers direct access to several categories of selected materials, media and content included in the Toolkit, such as: Audio, Blogs & Columns, Case Studies, Centers & Institutes, Experts, Funding Sources, an Image BankOrganizations, Related Toolkits, References, Reports, Tools & Samples, and Video.


chat-bubble5. SHARE

Ideally, all who implement creative aging programs in libraries will share your experiences and insights with the Toolkit community.

We would like to share blog posts that you publish on your library blogs, and also to invite you to publish blog posts and case studies featuring your programs, patrons and teaching artists here in the Toolkit.

We are also interested in gauging your interest using Google Hangouts as a tool for further community discussion.

Please share your observations, suggestions, links, photos, videos, resources, and pitch blog posts to us via the following channels:

Creative Aging is a Win-Win that Makes a Positive Impact on Patrons, Librarians and Communities

Insights from librarians and systems who have already hosted creative aging programs.