In a digital era where information and entertainment are just a touch of a smartphone away, there is a even more reason to visit community centers, libraries or places of worship to retain a sense of community and remain socially connected.
Public libraries in particular have evolved in the face of e-readers and other technologies which many have thought would threaten their existence. But while some smaller community libraries may be struggling, many have stepped up to the challenge and have remained thriving centers for learning, social gathering and support for community members.
Many libraries offer programs for young children and parents, for newcomers learning a foreign language or seniors with time to fill and minds eager for new knowledge. But they may also offer programs, services or materials to support caregivers of special needs children or aging adults with dementia.
Libraries have a surprising number of resources; from apps to download e-books and digital music to DVD movies and periodicals. The public library may have more to offer than you might think. Some branches lend out caregiver activity kits like the MYLE (make your life easier) Outreach Kit found at the Rochester Hills Public Library in Michigan, which includes activities to help calm, entertain and stimulate seniors who may have mild to moderate dementia.
Kit contains: Gaiam Restore Hand Therapy Exercise Ball Kit, Sit and Be Fit Senior Chair Exercise Workout 2 DVD set featuring Mary Ann Wilson, Tangle Relax Therapy, Cardinal Classic Games Double Six Color Dot Dominoes, Pixy Cubes, Travel Qwirkle Board Game, Strengthen You Mind by Kristin Einberger.
There are also kits that focus on arthritis, Parkinson’s and braille.
Want to learn a new language? There’s probably a kit for that too. Take time this fall to explore the possibilities for community, personal development and support through your public library and you may find a hidden gem right next door.
To learn more about modern makeovers in pubic libraries, follow this link to Michigan Public Radio.