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Abigail Elder's picture

Getting to know you!

Hello! I'm eager to virtually meet you!  Please share a few tidbits about yourself, your work and why you got involved in this committee. Thanks! -abigail


Abigail Elder's picture

Hello!  I'll get this started with a few facts about myself.

I'm the Library Manager in Tualatin, Oregon (a suburb of Portland.) My library is part of a city department that includes parks, recreation, arts and a senior center.

I volunteer weekly at the senior center (washing dishes, so glamorous) and it's been fascinating to watch the center reflect on its services in light of changing demographics. Personally, I think that the senior center industry can learn a LOT from public libraries on how to adapt and thrive.

For many years, I've been involved in Transforming Life After 50: www.transforminglifeafter50.org with a special interest in recruiting/retaining adult volunteers.

I look forward to learning more about you! Thanks for your work on this committee. -abigail

e: aelder@beavertonoregon.gov
p: 503.526.3705
t: @eldera



Jennie OLeary's picture

I am a Librarian at the Sun City (AZ) Branch Library of the Maricopa County Library District.  I am responsible for scheduling programs for our library.  Sun City is a senior citizen community (at least one person in a household has to be 55 years old and no one under 18 is allowed to stay for more than 90 days.  There are no school districts).  The average age of our population is 74.

I was born and got my library degree in Wisconsin and started my career as a children's librarian in Gary, IN and then in Mesa, AZ (moved to get away from the snow!).  In 1984 I began working as a librarian with the Arizona Department of Economic Security and in 1988 I became the Coordinator of Library Services for the Arizona Department of Corrections, overseeing the prison libraries.  When I retired from the state in 2009, I came to work in Sun City.  When I first started working at Sun City, it was a private library.  Only Sun City residents could join and we charged $20 a year for membership.  We had about 4,000 card holders for a city of about 45,000.  A little over 4 years ago we became part of the Maricopa County Library District.  We now serve anyone who lives in Maricopa county and have about 8,500 card holders.  Most of our patrons are still seniors although we do have a few children that come in. 

I just joined this group at the ALA conference in Chicago.  I look forward to learning from and communicating with the group!

Jennie O'Leary



Dana Lucisano's picture

Hello, Abigail and fellow Committee Members.  I come from a background in Reference and Outreach Services in an urban public library.  I am on the road for part of the day, two days per week, delivering large print books and teaching computer basics at several senior centers in Waterbury, Connecticut.  In the evening, I teach a Spanish language computer class as part of our outreach to the Hispanic population.  Another facet of my job is being the in-house ADA Coordinator for my library.  I think that having some awareness of disability issues has helped me help seniors.  When I meet with people from other City Departments to plan programs for seniors, I'm the only one pushing for adaptive equipment, such as modified keyboards and big screen monitors.  I enjoy working with senior citizens, and it gives me pleasure to think I am doing something that enhances their quality of life just a little bit.


Abigail Elder's picture

Thanks Dana! Your job sounds fascinating-- you are being pulled in a zillion different directions!

e: aelder@beavertonoregon.gov
p: 503.526.3705
t: @eldera



Jane Salisbury (non-member)'s picture

Hello, all! 

I work as the supervisor of Library Outreach Services at Multnomah County Library in Portland, OR, where I have worked in a lot of different jobs over the years.  We serve adults in various situations - mostly older adults living both independently and not, but with significant barriers to getting to the library.  I've worked with Abigail on several initiatives involving adults in midlife, including Transforming Life after 50, as well as being a Lifelong Access Libraries Fellow, and supervising some grant projects here at MCL for older adults, including one with the lovely name of KABOOM!   I work with the Disability Accommodations Group here, as well, watching, as Dana mentioned, for the best ways to help our patrons have full access to the library.  I look forward to our work together.  

Abigail Elder's picture

Thanks Jane! I'm so happy that you will be joining this committee! 

e: aelder@beavertonoregon.gov
p: 503.526.3705
t: @eldera



Renee Bennett-Kapusniak's picture

Hi Everone,

I am currently a PhD student at UW Milwaukee and I am finishing up my Prelim exams so I apologze for not introducing myself sooner. I have been quite busy. My area of study is with Baby Boomers and beyond and how the library will assist them in accessing and retrieving information through technology. I became interested in this area after overhearing some younger library students discussing how it wasn't their job to teach these older adults how to use an e-reader. When I started investigating library services for this age group, I realized it is an area which needs more attention (especially with our up and coming librarians to be). I am looking forward to being on the committee.

Abigail Elder's picture

Welcome Renee! So glad to have your expertise on the RSS Aging Committee.  -abigail 

PS: Go Packers! 

e: aelder@beavertonoregon.gov
p: 503.526.3705
t: @eldera



Angela Fortin's picture


My apologies for my late introduction. I'm a librarian at the Oshtemo Branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library in Kalamazoo, MI. I plan programs for adults and teens at all four of our neighborhood branches, and manage my branch's adult, teen, and AV collections. 

I became interested in library services to older adults during library school, after a (very) brief internship at the Multnomah County Library. I got to spend a day with outreach staff taking materials to retirement communities in Portland, and learned the value of getting outside the library's walls. My library is beginning to take a greater interest in targeted services for older adults, and I'm pleased to be involved in that endeavor. 

I'm very excited to learn from and work with all of you!

Abigail Elder's picture

Hi Angela! Thanks for the introduction! Small world-- I once worked at Multnomah County Library, and Jane Salisbury, a new committee member, is the Outreach Supervisor for MCL.  Happy to have you on the committee! -abigail

e: aelder@beavertonoregon.gov
p: 503.526.3705
t: @eldera



Anthony Sarmiento's picture

I'd like to reconnect with the committee and contribute to its important work. While not a librarian, I have been a member of ALA and RUSA since 1990. You're welcome to go to my LinkedIn page for more information: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tony-sarmiento/3/230/88b/

During my service on the committee, we finalized the current set of ALA Guidelines being updated and organized several programs, including a preconference at the 2009 Annual Meeting, "A Dialogue with the Aging Network and the Library Community: The New ALA Guidelines on Library and Information Services to Older Adults." I've attached the agenda.

Tony Sarmiento

Executive Director, Senior Service America, Inc.

Silver Spring, MD


2009ALAPreconfAgenda-final.doc40 KB
Angela Fortin's picture

Welcome back, Tony! We're happy to have you join us. Our next virtual meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 7 at 4:00pm (EST). If you'd like to attend, please send me your email address and I'll add you to our email list.