Julie Solomon—
Our Outreach Librarian

Julie Solomon—Our Outreach Librarian



Serving Our Seniors

An Overview of Our Senior Services

The Farmington Community Library offers programs designed to meet the information needs of underserved or inadequately served target groups, such as disabled, homebound, senior citizens in independent/assisted living and nursing homes.— Outreach Services Department, Philosophy of Service

The Farmington Community Library provides services to older adults at the William Costick Activities Center and at over twenty-five senior residences including nursing homes, assisted living and independent living facilities. These services include book deliveries for deposit collections, and non-deposit collections, monthly book clubs, senior stories, memoir writing, Book Buddy visits, and computer classes.

Outreach Services has one full-time librarian, Julie Solomon (248) 848•4311, who determines the monthly book and media delivery schedule, plans programs at the many sites visited, orders large print books for both the Main Library and the Branch, weeds the collections and selects books and other media for each deposit and non-deposit site visited. Volunteers assist the Librarian to expand services that could not be done alone, due to limited time and schedule limitations. Volunteers are greatly appreciated by the Librarian. Recruitment of volunteers will always be ongoing.


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Books & Other Materials
Delivered to You

The Outreach Librarian selects materials, delivers books in both regular and large print, books on tape, CD and other library materials. At many of the sites, the librarian meets with patrons to help with their selection of materials, and at other sites, known as deposit sites, the librarian leaves books and other media, which are then exchanged on a monthly basis.

At the non-deposit sites, the librarian has the opportunity to meet residents at many sites, become acquainted with patrons, converse with them about their reading interests as well as other things. The librarian and the residents both look forward to the library visits, sharing books, stories and friendship with many people.

Other sites, known as deposit sites, the librarian will take two to three crates of books, specially selected, consisting of sixty to ninety books. They are placed on shelves for residents to enjoy. Each month, new selections of books are delivered.

During 2008-2009, three hundred and eighty-eight site visits were made, reaching an estimated five thousand six hundred and seventy-eight persons. This accomplishment was possible with the assistance of a very dedicated group of volunteers.


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Book Buddies

Book Buddies is another approach for homebound seniors who want to obtain library services. Book Buddies was instituted in 2005. A book buddy is a volunteer whose primary function is to visit a homebound patron and personally deliver books. The intent is for a friendship to develop between volunteer and recipient. Currently, there are twelve book buddies making deliveries each month to their assigned patron or patrons.


Computer Classes for Seniors

Julie Solomon and a COmputer Class for Seniors illustration

Introduction to the Internet classes are held at the William Costick Center every Monday at 1:15. There are six classes in this series. If you miss one class, you can take it again in the next series of classes. Learn how to search for all kinds of information using the Internet and how to send e-mail to your friends and family.

The Library offers computer assistance at five senior sites, designed to give older adults the confidence and skills needed for exploring the Internet, e-mail services and using online library resources offered at our library and other libraries. This program, originally called “CyberSeniors“ began in 1997 when the library was awarded an LSTA grant for collaboration with two community sites. The library purchased computers and provided training; the sites provided phone lines for connection to the Internet. Weekly classes were offered at the Costick Center and monthly sessions at Botsford Commons. These original classes continued and expanded to serve Farmington Place, Marion Oakland West and Detroit Baptist Manor Alpha. Residents at these sites are encouraged to take the classes offered at the Costick Center as many times as they would like.

Throughout 2008–2009, many series of six-week sessions were held at the Costick Center. The Librarian taught the classes along with a volunteer who assisted each week. Emphasis is placed on introduction to the Internet, e-mailing, using search engines and exploring resources found on our Library's home page. The goal of these classes is to introduce older adults to Web services and allow them to become comfortable with computers; also encouraging class attendees to take computer classes offered at both the Main and Branch Libraries at the completion of the six-week series.

Schedule of Computer Classes at the Costick Center:

All classes meet Mondays 1:15 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For more information, call our Outreach Services at (248) 848•4311

  • Introduction to Computers: Nov. 1 and Jan.4
  • Internet Basics: Nov. 23 and Jan. 11
  • Library Resources: Nov. 30 and Jan. 25
  • E-Mail Basics: Dec. 7 and Feb. 1
  • More about E-Mail: Dec. 14 and Feb. 8
  • Searching the Web: Dec. 21 and Feb. 22

The Volunteer Instructor at Farmington Place is Nancy Soloman She takes individual appointments with residents and assists them with their questions as well as teaching them how to use the Internet. Mary Hurd, an Outreach Volunteer and the Librarian, are always available to assist patrons during each monthly book delivery visit when they are at Marian Oakland West. The Librarian offers “one on one classes“ at Detroit Baptist Manor Alpha and assists residents at Botsford Commons while visiting for book delivery visits.

For more information, contact Julie Solomon (248) 848•4311.


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Large Print Books

Many new books—fiction, non-fiction, and even best sellers—were added to the large print collection during the past year, and over 30,000 were checked out! They were distributed three ways; Main Library, Farmington Branch and “traveling books“ delivered to senior centers, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Best-seller large print books are ordered in multiple copies, often more than two. Other books comprising fiction, non-fiction, and biographies are also ordered; usually one copy for each Branch.


Other Available Services

Julie Solomon illustration

Book groups at Carrington and Botsford Commons meet monthly. Facilitators of both groups have a list of books held by our library in multiple copies for book discussions and they are encouraged to utilize them. Halsted Place has also started a book club.

Senior Stories are programs held each month at various sites visited by the Outreach Librarian. The Librarian, or a volunteer reads stories to residents. Programs vary from site to site depending on the residents being served. At Haworth, Mary Hurd reads stories about animals and residents enjoy talking about pets that have lived with them. Sometimes, art projects are included at the visits. The Librarian has shared beautifully illustrated books that received Caldecott awards at other sites. Residents at Sunrise and Detroit Baptist Manor appreciate them. The Librarian talks about the author and illustrator.

During National Poetry Month, a poetry program was planned where residents read their own poetry and the librarian or a volunteer read a variety of poems. Such programming is an enjoyable element of Outreach Services and it also draws residents at many sites to come and see the variety of books that are brought to them each month. Through these programs, interest in reading books has increased.

There is always interest in famous people. Residents at various sites have heard interesting facts about Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mozart, Beethoven, Degas, and many other famous figures in world history.

Making Memories into Memoirs started early in 2009 at McAuley. This class was very well received and the consensus was that writing memoirs was a wonderful tool for reminiscence therapy. This program was expanded to Botsford Assisted Living and Tapiola Village.

Bi-Folkal Productions produces multi-sensory kits, used for triggering memories and transmitting information. Our Library owns thirteen of these kits which have been used for programming. Each kit has a theme, and each theme has props used for generating activities and conversations. Friends of the Farmington Library purchased DVDs this year to replace the slides and audio tapes that were used in previous years. These have helped to greatly enhance the quality of the kits. They are being used frequently at many of the sites by both the Librarian and activity directors.


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