Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Senior Expos

Jill Webster, from the Nova Scotia Provincial Library, told me about a great way to market your library services to older adults. This group mans a booth promoting library services at local senior expos or 50+ expos. Libraries can showcase their older adult programing, including book discussions, computer classes, art classes, genealogy classes, gardening classes, etc.

Some of the companies providing expos to seniors in Florida include Florida Senior Expo, run by Expo Marketing Inc. and the Senior Fun Fests run by Senior Connection & Mature Lifestyles magazines. One drawback is that the booths are expensive at these events. For example, a booth at a local senior expo in the Tampa bay area costs from $745. to $850. On the bright side, this is for a booth at a large two day expo, which draws approximately 20,000 older adults. Perhaps your local "Friends of the Library" group could provide funds for a booth.

Of course, outreach to older adults can be included in general outreach activities, such as when libraries participate in local festivals and local social service neighborhood events. For example in my area, our library has had a booth at the Apollo Beach Manatee Arts festival and at the Ruskin Tomato festival. This is a much lower cost alternative, since the library may not have to pay for a booth. Costs will include staff time, promotional flyers, and booth decorations. In addition, the library may have to provide a tent and/or a table and chairs for local festivals.

Jill Webster is also a member of the Nova Scotia Working Group on Services to Older Adults, which has a very nice blog called Services for Older Adults in NS Libraries, which is listed on my blogroll.

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