Intergenerational programming offers participants rich learning and social experiences, where people can gain an understanding of language and culture of people in different age groups. At the same time, it meets the needs of new Americans and anyone with a family who wishes to participate in activities as a group. Like all patrons, new Americans of all ages have needs that can be met by a library. Moreover, many new Americans live in multigenerational households. Libraries should consider which programs could either benefit from or accommodate intergenerational participation. In marketing materials, consider how to clearly communicate which programming serves family members of all ages at the same time, in the same space, or both.
Suggested Action Steps
- Determine what current programs have intergenerational programming. What’s working well with these programs? What needs to be improved?
- Identify obstacles to increasing family participation at your library. Is it transportation? Child care? Cultural norms?
- Ask new American patrons what programs they’d like to do with their family members, and how to design those programs for success.
- Family Engagement Resources
- A Range of Ages: Mixed-Age Play at the Library
- Teen Tech Tutors
- Early Childhood Expertise Beyond LibraryLand: Serving Refugee and Immigrant Families
- Oral History @ Your Library: A Beginner’s Guide