Age Out Loud at The Free Library!

By Lisa-Jane E. Wed, May 17, 2017

The month of May is that glorious transitional time of the year that phases out spring and ushers in summer. It reminds us to stop and smell the roses. It is the time for celebrating mothers and college graduates. And it is also the time for celebrating older Americans, in the form of Older Americans Month! This year, like every year, the Free Library takes part in the celebration, as we recognize that older Americans add depth and texture to the fabric of American life and we join the Administration on Aging in encouraging older Americans to "Age out Loud!”

Gone are the days of concealing one's age. In this era of "50 is the new..." whatever-you-want-it-to-be, older Americans are no longer relegated to the margins of life. They are fully in the mix. Older Americans are out dancing, embracing wellness, establishing new careers, becoming tech savvy, taking charge of their finances, leading civic endeavors, mentoring young people, and participating in intergenerational activities. And guess what? The Free Library is with them every step of the way!

Our thinking is, why not take pride in aging? After all, the one thing Americans have in common across race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and income levels is an expectation of old age. We all hope to grow old someday. But we don't simply want to arrive at old age. We actually want to "grow" into it, and the Free Library is the go-to place for anyone looking to grow.

Speaking of folk who continue to grow, we’d like to pay tribute to a guest of our Senior Center who seems to very much understand the idea of aging out loud. She read that we were hosting a concert for Cinco de Mayo, and despite the rain (which could easily be a deterrent for people of any age), she came out! While she was enjoying the music of Latin guitarists Papo Gely, she took out her sketch pad and sketched the performers. Later, she gave her sketches to them and to us as gifts. Thank you, Mina Smith! We so appreciate you, your talent, and your spirit. And in that spirit, we want area seniors to know that Parkway Central Library and our neighborhood libraries offer an array of services, activities, and materials to help you age out loud with dignity, pride, and a sense of celebration. Library activities that may be of interest to you if you are a senior on the move include, but are not limited to our…

Additionally, Central Senior Services, which is solely devoted to serving Philadelphia’s senior population, has a computer lab with extended usage privileges and volunteer tutors available three afternoons a week to provide individual computer instruction. The Senior Center also has an upcoming series of programming, including:

  • The Giants of America Literature – Wednesdays May 17, June 14, and June 21
  • Senior Investment Fraud Counseling – Thursdays May 25 and June 1 
  • Military History Club on Wednesday, May 31

We’ve recently decided to take our programming on the road with book club meetings at local senior centers. We’ll be at the KleinLife Center on Tuesday, May 23 and West Oak Lane Senior Center on Monday, June 5th.

If you frequent a senior center that would like to host a book club or a book watchers club, let us know and we’ll make it happen!

Until then, feel free to age out loud – real loud!

Older Americans Month 2017
Older Americans Month 2017
 Sketch of Latin guitarist Papo Gely by one of our senior patrons, Mina Smith.
Sketch of Latin guitarist Papo Gely by one of our senior patrons, Mina Smith.

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