At CMLE, we so enjoy all our different types of libraries, archives, and other members! Seeing all the work you are doing is so inspiring; and we want to return the favor by helping you to find some of the great programming going on around the profession.
Each week we will share an interesting program we find. It may inspire you to do exactly the same thing; or to try something related; or just to try out some different programming ideas.
Most of our libraries would have seniors in their community, so doing some programming specifically for them is always a good idea! (Think broadly about your potential community; could elementary school students do some yoga with their grandparents or some volunteer grandparents?)
“Since many older adult patrons can’t make it to Coventry Public Library’s in-house programs, we decided to offer both a senior fitness class and a chair yoga class at the Coventry Housing Authority, which is conveniently located near the senior living center. We run the classes twice a week for six weeks, and the seniors are always begging for more!
We have a very active adult program at our library, but the elderly don’t always have transportation. Programs are often at night when they don’t want to go out, and we felt we could expand our programs to the whole community by not only offering a senior fitness class, but offering a chair yoga class as well.
We were going to have the classes in our building, but we don’t have an activities room, and since we share the building with Town Hall we have to use the Council Chambers for programs. Those aren’t always available, so we started looking elsewhere.
We talked to the senior center, but the community rooms at the local Housing Authority facilities were better, and the Housing Authority was already looking for activities. That’s worked out very well because some of the folks come from the community, but some of the folks come from the housing units right by the Housing Authority.
We started chair yoga in 2016 and the fitness classes in 2017. The instructors for both of those classes came to us asking if we would want them to teach a class.
We get the word out mostly through The Reminder (a local shopper’s weekly), our own newsletter, our website and posters that we put up around town. Word of mouth works well too, especially because the seniors all live together.
We don’t pay anything for our rent, so our only cost is the instructor’s fee. She charges $35/hour, and twice a week for six weeks ends up amounting to $420. We alternate the fitness and yoga sessions so we are never paying both instructors at the same time.
The maintenance and janitorial staff at the Housing Authority set everything up for us, so we don’t have to do anything on the days of the classes. That staff ends up being very helpful. We couldn’t have class this week because of a snowstorm, so the Housing Authority called everybody in the senior housing development to tell them we didn’t have class.
Once the class starts, the instructor does all the work. She teaches them different exercises, and if it’s the senior’s first session, she has them sign a waiver.
We feel like this program has been a successful way to reach the older community. We get about 20 people each class.
At the end of the last session one of the gals wrote a lengthy thank-you note to the instructor. The instructor has a great sense of humor and is always laughing, so it works out to be a very pleasant class.”
Check out the rest of this article! Can you adapt it into your library?? It sounds like it could be fun!