September 4 — You have probably noticed that many people are hopped up about the marketing opportunities from baby boomers as they enter their next phase of life. Even an article in the prestigious Library Journal recently encouraged librarians to get in the act too.
According to the article, designing programs and trying to attract boomers to their doors will be a win-win for libraries and for boomers entering retirement. Libraries get engaged users and volunteers who can contribute enthusiasm, skills, programs – not to mention generous donations from this incredibly wealthy segment. For those of us winding down our primary working career, libraries have a lot to offer too. Obviously the research resources are first rate and the entertainment and education possibilities endless. But engaging oneself as a volunteer can be quite rewarding as well – giving an extra dimension to one’s life that won’t be found on the golf course.
Amy Ryan, director of the Hennepin County Library (HCL) in suburban Minneapolis, launched a program for seniors called 55+: â€œIt’s about programs, yes, but it’s also about volunteerism and partnerships with other organizations.â€ Some libraries have developed new volunteer positions to attract talent from retiring baby boomersâ€”running conversation circles, teaching computer classes, leading book talks.
Bottom line: When you go looking for your retirement community, one of your first questions should be: How good is the local library. If funding and resources are poor and libraries are important to you, look elsewhere. If the local library scene looks promising, get involved. You might make a big difference in your life, and those of others as well. Check out the Library Journal article on baby boomers, it might give you some good ideas.