Libraries now offer more than just books. In addition to DVDs and other digital resources, libraries have become welcoming places for seniors.

“A good library reflects the needs of its particular community,” says Nick Higgins, Chief Librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. “Our older adult community is growing rapidly. … They’re starting to exhibit some mobility issues. They’re looking for opportunities other than movie night, something active and social. And the public library is a perfect space for that to happen.”

An organization called Lifetime Arts works with 80 public libraries in 13 states to offer a variety of art classes to older adults, all taught by professional artists. These classes focus on the development of a skill, rather than simply entertainment.

In addition to art classes, activities such as Xbox bowling, quilting classes and writing workshops are offered at many NY public libraries. These programs are offered free to the public and can provide seniors with opportunities to socialize and gain new skills.

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