Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Senior Spaces Programs for August

Senior Fridays - Every Friday at 1:30 PM

August 1 - Wii-ing in the library
We will Wii in the library. Be ready to form your teams and play against one another.

August 8 - Advances in Low Vision Therapy
Dr. Steven Silberberg will talk about new developments in low vision therapy, particularly with regard to macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

August 15 - What is Elderhostel?
Joe Viviani, an Elderhostel Ambassador, will talk about traveling with this group of dynamic and interesting seniors.

August 22 - The Joy of Bonsai
John Mikalski, thc Great Swamp Bonsai Society, will bring some demonstration projects and will talk about how to train little trees into fantastic shapes.

August 29 - Staycation
We'll wrap up the summer by talking about what we love about New Jersey and what our fears are for the future of our state. If you have a solution to any of our problems, please join us! Lead by Senior Spaces librarian, Ellen O'Brien

The Movie Club - the third Thursday of every month at 1:30 PM
The Movie Club shows new releases and foreign films the third Thursday of every month. The August movie is Charlie Wilson's War - Based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.

Hot Topics Women's Discussion Group - the last Thursday of every month at 1:30 PM
What is Alcoholics Anonymous?
Join us for a discussion of this international organization which specializes in the treatment of alcoholism. Two members of Alcoholics Anonymous will talk to us about their experiences in this organization.

On Creation: An Essay by Dorothy Miller

Note: What follows is an essay by Dorothy Miller, one of our Old Bridge Library customers. Thank you, Dorothy, for allowing us to post your essay on the Senior Spaces Blog.

There has not yet been a word that can adequately describe "CREATION".

We can only say with certainty that creation is what was brought into being. The impetus for this phenomenon may never fully be understood in the mortal condition in which we find ourselves today.

Those of us who are people of faith believe that God is the creator. Others of us believe the scientific explanations. It is possible, then, that we may never know the origin of creation. Every day we see and contemplate the wonders of this marvel through the greatest creation of all. That is the intellect of man. We study the universe and are able to understand so much of what exists, and by putting existing parts together over the centuries, new creations have come about. In a sense we can say that the greatest mission of man is to continue with the minute details of creatism as far as his finite intelligence will allow.

I believe that the natural curiousity of man will, over the centuries, find more existing parts in the universe, the galaxies and in man himself, that will give credence to the concept of continuing creatism. This is not to imply that the intellect of man is without limits. It has however, the capacity to generate new ideas and thoughts as it comes more and more into contact with the already existing components of creation. Proof of this can be seen in the reaction of man from his earliest recorded history to the world that surrounds him.

In conclusion, I like to think that man, the greatest of all creation with the capacity to observe, speculate about and manipulate the rest of creation, will one day realize his role as custodian, and along with the marvels of our world will turn to the greater awakening of love and caring. These attributes are given to us at the time we were brought into being and must in the end identify us as the greatest creation of all.

Senior Spaces Offerings for July

Senior Spaces offers the following programs in July:

Senior Fridays - all programs start at 1:30 PM

July 18: Beekeeping with Cynthia Werts
Our summer reading program theme is "Insects" so we are pleased to have a professional beekeeper available to talk about the sweetest ones around.

July 25: Freedom from Financial Fear with Bob Santos
Bob Santos from Sun National Bank will come to talk to us about financial planning.

The Movie Club - third Thursday of every month at 1:30 PM
The Movie Club will show new releases and foreign movies with subtitles.

July 17 - Volver - with Penelope Cruz (Spanish) - After her death, a mother returns to her home town to resolve situations she couldn't fix during her lifetime.

Hot Topics: Women's Monthly Discussion Group - last Thursday of every month at 1:30 PM

July 31 - Autism is a World - We'll view a documentary about a young woman who is autistic and communicates using a computer keyboard using a method known as "facilitated communication". We'll talk about the surprising prevalence of this disorder in New Jersey and the pros and cons of different treatments, etc.

Howdy from Senior Spaces

My name is Ellen O'Brien and I'm the Senior Spaces librarian. I was hired and trained by Allan Kleiman to provide programs, computer training, readers' advisory and collection development for our customers who use the Large Print and Senior Spaces collections. I am responsible for the Senior Fridays programs, "Hot Topics" - the monthly women's discussion group and the Senior Spaces Movie Club. If you have any suggestions for these programs, please let me know. I also purchase the Large Print books and Senior Spaces books. If there is a book you'd enjoy that you think others might also like, I'd be happy to look into whether or not it would be appropriate for our collection.

I'll try to keep you posted as to what's new and what's coming up for Senior Spaces. I encourage you all to drop by the library, check out our programs, look at our books/DVDs/CDs and other materials and keep in touch.

Ellen O'Brien

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Gaming @ Your Library, April 18, 2008


This past Friday the Old Bridge (NJ) Public Library participated in
the Gaming @ Your Library event with our older adults. We had a great

This was the first event that we've had without the Teens assisting
the seniors and we used this time to get some feedback. Almost 1/2 of
those in attendance are not tech savvy. The ones that were use the
Internet and e-mail on an infrequent basis. Two of those in
attendance noted their their children and grandchildren suggested that
they come and try out the Wii at the Library.

When the older adults first arrived I was playing (and singing) with
the American Idol Karoke. The songs we all decided are more for my
age (baby boomer) than for older adults. We did try a few songs with
the seniors, they enjoyed it, but not everyone wanted to participate
and make a fool out of themselves singing in public.

Next, a staff member brought in Endless Ocean to try with the group.
We did for about 10 minutes and they found it boring.

So, we went to the tried and true best bet, Wii Bowling. That
continues to be the hit with this group.

I am beginning to understand why it continues to be the hit! I think
the reason the Wii sports are the hit is that there is no learning
curve involved. If you know how to bowl and understand the scoring
then you can play. Of course, there is the need to put the spin on
the controller, too! (that's a hint). So, the only learning curve is
how to use the controller. Everyone loves to bowl! But remember to
fasten the cord around your wrist!

We currently have two Wii consoles as part of "Senior Spaces"
project. One was hooked up to a TV monitor and the other (Wii
Bowling) projected using an LCD projector. There were 10 older adults
in attendance for this event.

During May we plan to install a Wii console in our Center for Creative
Learning and Technology, a part of Senior Spaces. Each Thursday we
are planning to invite older adults to come in for one-on-one
training. In June we will have our next open play public session with
the older adults. During the summer we are planning weekly
Intergenerational sessions both for Training and play. And, by
September we are planning to have an "Adults" only evening of play
once a month.

We have recently purchased computer software from Generations Online
that is used with older adults that have littler or no computer
experience to become computer literate. Our goal is to begin to train
seniors that are comfortable with the Wii and move them on to
Generations Online. This will be part of the Intergenerational
activities during the Summer.

Friday was a great day for us as we continue to explore gaming,
technology literacy and older adults here at the Old Bridge Public
Library in NJ. We hope to have some pictures up this week on the blog

Allan M. Kleiman
Assistant Library Director
Old Bridge (NJ) Public Library
732-721-5600, ext. 5042

Friday, February 29, 2008

Senior Fridays: March 2008

Free Events for Older Adults
Fridays @ 1:30pm
Learn, Create, Sit-Back and Enjoy!

March 7: Movie: It Happened One Night!
Classic movie with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert (1934)

March 14: Author Talk: Creative Writing Process
Free-lance writer and retired English Professor, Ken Sieben will talk about getting started in writing—at any age!

March 21: Talk & Discussion: Life Part 2
From the PBS series, Life Part 2, view and discuss the
episode on “The Aging Brain,” and more! Led by librarian,
Allan M. Kleiman

March 28: Talk & Discussion: Fire Safety in Your Home
Old Bridge Fire Marshall Tom Gerity will provide us with
tips that all of us need to know to keep our homes safe

No Registration Required--Light Refreshments Will be Served

“Senior Spaces”
Old Bridge Public Library
1 Old Bridge Plaza, Municipal Center
Route 516 and Cottrell Road
732-721-5600, ext. 5033

These programs are made possible under contract with the INFOLINK Regional Library Cooperative and a grant from the NJ State Library

Monday, February 25, 2008

Today's Outreach Program


Today Ellen and I made our long overdue visit to our neighbor--the Old Bridge Senior Center. I think it must be over 6 months since my last visit.

Today's program started out with senior center member (and library customer) Dorothy Miller who talked about "aging." She spoke about all the possibilities that we have today and how older adults should take advantage of learning and try out the new technology.

Dorothy has macular degeneration and gets around with the use of white cane. She has ZoomText installed on her computer at home. We have also helped her with some additional training on ZoomText at the Library, too!

Remember, Dorothy remarked, good cheese, wine and wood, only get better with age!

I was up next. Today we talked about last night's Oscars, our favorite movies from times past, Spring, we read together Trees by Joyce Kilmer, talked about what kind of tree we'd like to be, read a chapter from George Burns' 100 Years 100 Stories and finished by talking about Ethel Merman's 100 Anniversary, her career and sang "There's No Business Like Show Business!"

Some of the other props I brought for show-and-tell with me were copies of Reminisce Extra magazine and a selection of books in other languages (Chinese, Hindi, Gujarati, Spanish and Russian) and some recent large print books. The Senior Center Spanish Language class meets in our Library each Friday morning, too!

Our program was well received and we hope to be back in a few weeks for another "show." Next time, Ellen gets to be at bat!

Chat with you soon,