Building upon the success of a previous TLA50 grant, Hayward Public Library went on to offer a series of intergenerational programs that brought encore community members (ages 50+) together with community youth. Programs included: six Intergenerational Poetry Workshops that facilitated creative writing and public poetry presentations (124 high school students and adults participated); a Book-to-Action program series that expanded the traditional book club concept to include participation in a community service project related to the book’s topic (339 people participated); and three Intergenerational Writer’s Workshops, in partnership with Chabot College, that provided community members with the tools, guidance, and inspiration to practice creative and non-fiction writing and explore the publication process (54 people participated). Outcomes were significant: 78% of poetry workshop participants reported an increased passion for writing original poetry, 92% of Book-to-Action participants reported they learned something new about the book topic and now felt more connected to their community because of the experience, and 98% of writing workshop participants identified at least one new skill they developed as a result of their participation.
The program gave the library an opportunity to build mutually beneficial relationships with local service organizations while positioning the library as a significant community leader that inspires community dialogue and action on critical issues.
Of special note, the Book-to-Action program proved to be such a highly successful and engaging program model that, in 2012, the California State Library awarded 10 small grants to other libraries throughout the state to develop their own Book-to-Action program series. Examples of these projects along with an online Toolkit (developed with the assistance of staff from Hayward Public Library) offer tips and inspiration to yet more libraries wishing to implement this model in their own communities.
Book to Action was featured in presentations at the 2011 and 2012 California Library Association’s annual conference and the promotional materials won the 2011 CLA PR Excellence First Place Award in the less than $5 million budget category.
Designed and provided a series of programs, Refresh Your Life (pdf), on a total of 19 programs on such topics as health, finances, finding work, and author/musician presentations. Created a Refresh Your Life newsletter distributed each month of the grant period, in both email and paper versions. Realizing the value of the email format, the library’s regular monthly events calendar has now been migrated to this email format as well. Also created a Refresh Your Life blog as a place to discuss issues and ideas relevant to Boomers – the blog continues even though the grant is now over. The 19 programs drew attendance of 292 people – 70 of whom had never been to the library before.
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Examples of programming to midlife adults at the Hayward Public Library.