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Library Services for Persons over Age 55

by on May 5th, 2014

Recently the Iowa City City Council appointed an ad-hoc Senior Services committee that will begin meeting in May. In preparation for these meetings, the Library provided information about collections, programs and services of interest to people over age 55. I thought I’d share some of the interesting tidbits from the Library’s report.

Library Cards:  As of April 24, 2014, 7,491 people over age 55 had active Library cards with 8,089 items checked out.  Of those, 4,938 people live in Iowa City and they have 5,567 items checked out.  995 live in rural Johnson County and they have 1,091 items checked out.

At Home Services:  The Library’s At Home service provides traditional Library collections by mail to residents of the Library’s service area (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, Hills, University Heights and Lone Tree) for those who are unable to come to the Library because of a physical disability. Most people enrolled in At Home Services are over age 55. Currently 128 patrons are enrolled in At Home services and in FY13, an average of 39 patrons were served each month. In FY13, the Library loaned 2,888 items to and the Library’s Switchboard answered 255 calls from At Home patrons.

Community Outreach Collections:  The Library maintains community outreach collections at many retirement residences and other community organizations that serve people over age 55. These sites include the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center, Oaknoll, Melrose Meadows, Walden Place, Capitol House Apartments, Chatham Oaks, Hope Lodge, and MECCA. Some sites utilize books checked out from the Library’s collection, while others accept donated materials. In FY13, 660 items were loaned to community organizations from the Library’s collection and 2,242 items, culled from donations to the Library and withdrawn materials, were sent for members of the community to use.

Volunteer Program:  The Library connects with many community members through our Volunteer Program. In FY13, 364 people volunteered at the Library. Of those, 83 volunteers were over age 55 and they volunteered 4,154 hours.

Technology Support:  For the first nine months of FY14, the Library assisted 358 patrons in our Drop-In Tech Help sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Staff estimates 50% of the people who seek assistance at these sessions are age 55 and over.  There is a also special Senior Tech Zone weekly on Thursdays, from 10:30 AM-12:30 PM, staffed by volunteers from the Johnson County Livable Community project.

The Library serves people over age 55 in many ways. The information above represents a snapshot of some of the collections, programs and services available at the Library. If you have questions, please give us a call.

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