Library can benefit today’s senior citizens


Maybe it’s because I have a child graduating from high school, or because Washington-Centerville Public Library is showcasing our services for older adults, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about senior citizens.

I recently read an interesting article about the “new” old. The article talked about how today’s seniors are vastly different than the frail, graying grandparents of yesteryear. Not only is this group growing in number — as a cohort they exceed the population of Canada — but they share several characteristics that organizations such as the Library are trying to cater to with their services.

Here are just a few of the attitudes and qualities that distinguish new seniors from their predecessors:

1. New seniors have goals they want to accomplish. They have a clear sense of what they want to do and learn. The Library plays a key part in helping seniors learn new skills or gain new knowledge through programs like Tech Classes, Estate Planning and more. On May 13, the Library will hold a seminar on protecting assets as people age, followed by a Senior Resource Fair showcasing non-profits that serve seniors.

2. New seniors spend time with other who share common interests. Library book discussions, knitting and genealogy groups are popular opportunities for seniors to meet new people who share their passions. The Library offers these opportunities monthly as an ongoing way for seniors to connect.

3. New seniors would rather serve than be served. Friends of WCPL provides a rewarding volunteer opportunity for seniors who love the Library and are looking to give back.

So seniors are the new old. For more information on program, services and collections offered for seniors, go online to

Georgia Mergler is community relations manager of the Washington-Centerville Public Library. She can be contacted by email at

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