Library Programs for Adults Promote Lifelong Learning
Some people still think libraries are primarily for children, but the Tigard Public Library has a robust schedule of programs to appeal to adults. From a Bob Dylan tribute concert to a pasta-making class, to presentations that provide practical advice on topics like estate planning, Medicare enrollment and health care, the library serves the entire community.
“I see a lot of seniors at our events,” says Adult Librarian Ann-Marie Anderson. “One was by a local attorney who is the author of A Will Is Not Enough; we had mostly seniors attending that one, asking questions and taking notes.”
Craft programs are also popular with seniors who are looking to learn a new skill. “I love the crafts programs, especially quilling,” said Tigard resident Carolyn McCormick. “I took it twice. Some people are good at it; I just struggle along but hope to go back and do some more.”
Many seniors who didn’t grow up using computers appreciate the free computer classes the library offers.
“Computers were just coming in about the time I retired,” says Peter Higgins, who has used the Tigard Library for 55 years and has volunteered there since 2005. “I learned to SKYPE here. When SKYPE first became popular, the Library advertised that they were holding a class. I learned it, and thank goodness I did, because now we have a daughter who lives in Germany and a son who lives in Texas.”
The library also offers several outreach programs. “Our Friendly Visitor program provides books and other materials to homebound individuals or those who do not drive,” says Anderson. “It’s a way to keep seniors engaged with reading and education and cultural opportunities even if they can’t get here.”
Anderson also makes regular visits to assisted-living centers to deliver materials and engage residents in book discussions.
“I bring examples of some great books that I’ve read recently and do book talks about them,” she says. “I try to give them a little taste of the books and hope they’re intrigued and want to check them out.”
The library’s emphasis on programs for adults is part of its mission to promote lifelong learning. Whether it’s learning new tricks on the computer, getting to know other cultures through their music and dance, or making handmade greeting cards, adult library programs open up a world of opportunities.