Avid readers understand the magic that's available at any local library, but even older adults who don't read often can benefit from regular library visits. Heading to the local library offers many perks for older adults beyond enjoying the latest fiction book or learning something new. With 17 locations, the Phoenix Public Library system gives older adults many convenient location options for enjoying the benefits of regular library visits. Here are some reasons you might want to visit one of those locations or the on-site library and reading room at Bethesda Gardens Phoenix.
A library gives you free access to all types of materials, resources and services. Libraries house a wide variety of print materials, not just fiction or biographies. You can find materials on any topic that interests you to expand your knowledge, to help with a project or for simple enjoyment. Libraries offer computer and internet access to seniors who don't have a device at home, which can help them access digital-only services.
Most libraries also offer movies, music and other items you can borrow for free. Additionally, the Phoenix Public Library has a seed library with a variety of seed options as well as culture passes, which offer free admission for two to several local arts and cultural spots, including the Reid Park Zoo, Desert Botanical Garden and Heard Museum. These services give you access to even more free entertainment outside the walls of the library, whether you're a Phoenix gardener or an art fan.
Older adults can interact with a variety of people during every visit. They can chat with librarians to get recommendations for reading material that matches their interests or strike up a conversation with another library patron. Various groups and meetings give older patrons a chance to connect with others who have similar interests. For example, they might join a book club organized by the library. Maintaining social connections can help support an older adult's mood and cognitive health.
Public libraries attract all types of community members, from young families with babies to seniors. If you're an older adult with grandchildren or other young family members living nearby, regular trips to the library let you bond with them. You can pass on your love of reading, join library story times, pick out books to read together or teach them how to use the library. Since the library is easy to access for all types of people, it's an activity that's suitable for everyone in your family.
Public libraries usually have volunteering options that offer several ways to interact with other patrons. Older adults can find a sense of purpose in volunteering. It can help keep them active, physically and cognitively, while they help the community. Being a library volunteer is also a way to beat boredom with something that interests and challenges you. Regular volunteering helps older adults develop connections with the library staff and regular patrons.
Libraries typically have schedules filled with speakers, author visits, workshops, book clubs and many other programs. Some even offer exercise classes, dancing and other things to stay physically active. While a lot of those activities center around kids, many other library events are perfect for adults or designed specifically with older adults in mind, such as genealogy information. Seniors can learn something new, connect with people on a specific topic or enjoy a fun activity, all of which can stimulate the brain and boost your mood. Library activities offer free entertainment for seniors who are often on a fixed income.
The library provides a comfortable, safe place to spend time outside your home. This can be especially important in the heat of Phoenix summers when spending too much time outdoors isn't safe for older adults. Unlike outdoor attractions, libraries offer well-lit, climate-controlled environments that are easy to enjoy. The library can be a good alternative to outdoor activities on bad weather days. Beautiful buildings and inviting furnishings make it interesting to go to the library. Older adults can choose from a variety of seating that keeps them comfortable while they enjoy the library's facilities.
With aging comes some mobility limitations and other special needs that libraries can often accommodate. Public libraries need to be ADA compliant, which means all seniors can access the facilities regardless of mobility. Librarians can assist patrons with finding and reaching books that might be on high shelves or too heavy for someone with mobility restrictions to remove from a shelf.
The available materials can also make reading easier for older adults. Large-print, braille and audio versions of many library books give access to people with vision limitations. Some branches of the Phoenix Public Library have assistive computer stations with technology that includes screen magnifiers, screen-reading software and adjustable furniture. These options improve access to all library patrons to meet their needs.
Whether you frequent the Bethesda Gardens library or one of the Phoenix Public Library branches, regular trips to the library open up a variety of benefits. Not only do you get to enjoy new books regularly for free but you also have access to other services, volunteer opportunities and social interactions.