Older Adults


Library Services to an Aging Population Committee of the Reference Services Section (RSS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA, a division of ALA) of the American Library Association.

Services to Older Adults - ALA's Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) provides resources to library and information workers who serve traditionally underrepresented groups. These groups include older adults, among others. The OLOS website gathers resources from OLOS programs, and other units of ALA.


Standards and Guidelines

Guidelines for Library Services with 60+ Audience: Best Practices. - Library Services to an Aging Population Committee, Reference Services Section, Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association, 2017.

Guidelines for Library and Information Services to Older Adults. Reference & User Services Quarterly, Volume 48, issue 2 (Winter 2008), p. 209-212.


Blogs, Toolkits, and other online resources

Creative Aging Toolkit for Public Libraries  - Released in 2013, the "Creative Aging Toolkit for Public Libraries" provides information about creative aging research, best practices, and practical advice for the planning and implementation of creative aging programs in public libraries. (Accessed August 14, 2013)

Keys to Engaging Older Adults - Updated in 2019 and created in response to the concerns of librarians across the country who provide services for the growing numbers of older adults in their communities, this toolkit contains valuable advice on programming, accessibility concerns, finding funding, engagement and implementation, model programs, and more.

Library Services to an Aging Population: 21 Ideas for the 21st Century

Library Services to an Aging Population: Caregivers Sites

Library Services to an Aging Population: Senior Sites on the Web

PCLS (Pasco County {FL} Library System) Senior Services Blog (formerly Senior Friendly Libraries) - This blog provides resources for older adults and the librarians who serve them, a newsfeed of interesting articles for older adults, and information about older adult programs at Pasco County libraries.

Transforming Life After 50: A Resource for Libraries "The Transforming Life After 50 (TLA50) initiative, undertaken by the California State Library [beginning in 2007], was designed to help libraries better serve and engage midlife adults by positioning libraries as catalysts, resources, meeting places, and partners in creating opportunities for midlife adults to learn, teach, lead, build skills, re-career, and become civically-engaged." See video overview (YouTube: 6:40).


Print Resources

Honnold, RoseMary, and Saralyn A. Mesaros. Serving Seniors: A How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2004.

Mates, Barbara T. 5-Star Programming and Services for Your 55+ Library Customers. ALA programming guides. Chicago: American Library Association, 2003.

Moyer, Jessica E, and Kaite M. Stover. The Readers' Advisory Handbook. Chicago: American Library Association, 2010. (Chapter 19: "Readers' Advisory for Older Adults" by Alicia Ahlvers)

Rothstein, Pauline M, and Diantha D. Schull. Boomers and Beyond: Reconsidering the Role of Libraries. Chicago: American Library Association, 2010. Read PDF excerpt.


Last updated February 10, 2020 (partial)