What’s on in the Library this week

Monday: Start-up Monday – Dementia Australia 10.30am
Tuesday: Craft-it 3.30pm
Wednesday: Tech Savvy 1on1 Digital Help Sessions
Thursday: Children’s Storytime 10.15am


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What’s Your Dewey? 305.26 Ageing: or, as Dewey likes to call it, People in Late Adulthood!

A brief walk through the local Ageing & Disability Expo where our library had a stall, reminded me that the concept of ageing is ever changing and notions of what it is to be an ‘older person’ or ‘senior citizen’ are not what they once were. As our population ages and the number of people claiming senior status increases, so do our perceptions of what it is to be old, change. Like the many and varied stalls showcasing the different services aimed at seniors, you can find books on ageing shelved in the psychological, medical, spiritual, financial, fitness and biographical shelves, making the topic a grand tour of Dewey. Personally, the titles I find interesting are those that explore the concept of ageing through the collective experiences of those who’ve gone before… people in their late adulthood!

In the book In praise of ageing by Patricia Edgar, Edgar introduces her topic by asking: ‘Why do some people live an active and rewarding life while others die early or live miserably?’ Rather than focusing on the assumed ‘burden of the ageing’, (which she explores in Part One – The gift of age), Edgar begins to tackle this conundrum by interviewing eight people who have lived beyond their 80s (Part Two: The elders). They include teacher, biochemist and artist Muriel Crabtree (aged 102), and Jim Brierley, octogenarian skydiver. Through these stories, Edgar demonstrates that ageing brings with it opportunities to reshape our thinking and our lives by reaffirming what we care about and staying motivated to remain creative and connected to the world. Look inside here: www.booktopia.com.au

The importance of maintaining a sense of humour can not be over-emphasized by many and 1,000 unforgettable senior moments : of which we could remember only 254 by Tom…uh…Friedman is just one book that highlights the lighter side of age-related gaffes, from the ridiculous to the ridiculously worrying. Examples include: The team of astrophysicists who believed they had discovered proof of alien life–only to discover the signals were coming from the lunchroom microwave; the bank robber who wrote a holdup note on a cheque stub that had his name and address printed on it; and the president who left the nuclear launch codes in a suit at the dry cleaners. 1,000 Unforgettable Senior Moments is entertaining, witty and very accessible.
You can sample it here: 1001 unforgettable senior moments

Over 60 : living life to the full edited by Joy Noble and David Bennett is another book filled with examples of what is increasingly called ‘positive ageing’. The book is a compilation of 25 essays written by Baby Boomers as they approach their 60s and 70s; individuals who have the freedom to pursue their life passions and are changing the nature of retirement. While travelling and volunteering feature in many essays, there are also examples of grand-parenting, late career changes, creative pursuits and learning; embracing new technology to be both independent and connected.


Aging : an apprenticeship  edited by Nan Narboe looks at ageing from the perspective of 54 contributors including Judy Blume, Andrew McCarthy, Gloria Steinem, Ursula Le Guin and William Maxwell. Contributors draw from their own experiences as they navigate each decade of their late adulthood  from Nearing 50 up to The 90s and Beyond. Divided into decades, each essay lists the author’s birth year along with his or her subjective age (the age they feel or think). There are many thought-provoking approaches to ageing contained in these pages. Here are just two:  ‘There is no universal guidebook on aging… We have to learn about old age on the job’, (Jan Slepian, born in 1921); and Narboe who states: ‘I think aging tends to refine who the person is… an intellectual becomes more so, a sensualist becomes more so, an adventurer becomes more so.”
Read more about the book here: aginganapprenticeship.com

Aging starts in your mind : you’re only as old as you feel  by Notker Wolf, with Leo G. Linder ; translated by Gerlinde Buchinger-Schmid is a lighthearted, anecdotal approach to life as an ageing adult. While Wolf acknowledges that ‘The body is counting years, and it’s an incorruptible chronicler’ he also states: ‘The body and soul experience time differently… the soul measures itself by a different standard… it doesn’t grow old; it’s timeless’. Wolf encourages readers to focus on the ‘state of our soul- a soul which is resolutely vibrant, cheerful, and full of zest for life.’ Translated from German, this autobiographical book covers many ageing related topics in 22 chapters. You can preview it here: Aging starts in your mind

Staying active, connected and with a positive approach to getting older is a message that resounds in many of the interviews and stories included in the books just viewed. There are an abundance of ways people in their late adulthood can benefit from the diverse activities and support systems available to them in the community, as demonstrated at the Expo. This includes support to enter the modern world of technology with the Be Connected program being offered through the library.  An Australia wide initiative to empower all Australians to thrive in a digital world, it provides online learning resources and in-person support, so you can develop your digital skills and confidence. To find out more, contact the library on 8522 0123 and let staff know you want to Be Connected to make the most of your late adulthood… (and while you’re there, check out the shelves at 305.26).