The Creative Aging Toolkit for Public Libraries is a free, online resource for librarians and provides information about creative aging research, best practices, and practical advice for the planning and implementation of creative aging programs in public libraries. The Toolkit is designed, published and administered by Lifetime Arts, Inc.


The Creative Aging Toolkit for Public Libraries was developed as part of Creative Aging in New York State Libraries: A Regional Model with National Applicability, funded through a 2011 National Leadership Grant to Westchester Library System in partnership with Lifetime Arts, from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Additional support was provided by the Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation and the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office.

Support to Lifetime Arts has been provided by AARP Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, MetLife Foundation and New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).


The conceptualization, development and publication of the Creative Aging Toolkit for Public Libraries is the collective work of a team of cross-sector partners, all of whom share a dedication to public service, an understanding of the importance of artistic engagement, and a vision for the role of public libraries as centers for lifelong learning. We are grateful to all who have contributed their time, expertise and patience to this effort.

Special thanks go to our long time partners, Terry Kirchner, Director, Westchester Library System, and Mary Davis Fournier, Deputy Director, American Library Association Public Programs Office.

Many thanks also to the administrators and librarians of the collaborating library systems whose commitment to providing excellent, accessible programming to all patrons is unswerving. Thank you to: Boston Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, Clinton Essex, Franklin Library System, Dallas Public Library, Miami-Dade Public Library System, New York Public Library, Queens Library and Westchester Library System.

Further thanks are due to the over 100 professional teaching artists who have pioneered creative aging programs in public libraries and especially to the older adult participants who have shared their creativity with us all.

About the Tools and Samples

The tools and samples provided in this Toolkit were developed over time by Lifetime Arts as part of their capacity building work with public libraries. Independent evaluations conducted by Fordham University’s Ravazzin Center on Aging and Touchstone Center for Collaborative Inquiry have informed their design. They can be replicated or adapted for use with other funding sources and implementation partners.


Please contact us with your suggestions, questions, comments, and blog post submissions.

Project Team

Maura O’Malley
CEO/ Co-Founder, Lifetime Arts, Inc.

Shannon K. McDonough
Communications Director, Lifetime Arts, Inc.
Principal, Content on a Mission

Diantha Dow Schull
Consulting Associate, Lifetime Arts, Inc.
Principal/Founder, DDSchull Associates

Ed Friedman
Executive Director/Co-Founder, Lifetime Arts, Inc.

Nathan Majoros
Program Manager, Lifetime Arts, Inc.

Ryann Akolkar
Program Assistant, Lifetime Arts, Inc.

Michael O’Malley
Principal, CYRVICE, Services for Cyberspace

Herb Scher
Principal, Herb Scher Photography