Services for Older Adults

Brooklyn Public Library's Services for Older Adults Department offers many inclusive programming and services tailored for the 50+ audience. These include lectures, films, performances and educational programs that reflect the wide interests of today's older adults. See our list of services below.


Hear interviews with Brooklyn residents as part of the Our Streets, Our Stories Oral History Project on the newly launched tumblr page:

Tuskegee Airman Eric Weston, is interviewed by Taina Evans in Bed-Stuy on April 13th, 2016. 

“Four by four wagons, that’s what we transport the patients in. I head for the highway. As I was heading for the highway, the bus driver said to us, ‘Are you the recon that was following us on the highway?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ So the cop next to me says ‘Boy don’t you know how to say yes sir to a white man?’”

To hear the full interview, click here.

Brooklyn Public Library, Our Streets, Our Stories: Eric Weston





Serving nursing homes, senior centers, and adult day-care centers, we supply seniors with reading and viewing materials. Included are books in English and other languages (some in large print), DVDs and audio books.

Books to Go Application (PDF)


Books by Mail

A fast, convenient service that supplies books, audio books and videos to people who are homebound and have a visual disability.

Books by Mail Application (PDF)


Never Too Late to Learn: Computer Workshops

Enjoy our suite of technology programs offered at Brooklyn Public Library.

Older Adults Computer Instruction:

Learning to use a computer is not just for young people. Visit any Brooklyn Public Library location, for classes cater to the 50+ audience, and explore the world of technology, using laptops (PCs and Macs), and iPads.

Topics include computer basics, internet, email, online banking, and online health information. Program offerings can be found here.  

Remote-Access Programs for Homebound Individuals:

Enjoy our monthly teleconference and online courses cater to people who are homebound or residing in senior residences and/or nursing homes.

Sign up through our partner at DOROT University Without Walls: 877–819–9147 or register online.


Creative Aging Programs

Check out the Summer 2016 listings of our Creative Aging programs at various locations including senior centers. There will be more programs in the Fall, so please keep checking the calendar to find out when the next opportunity to register for a Creative Aging program.


Our Streets, Our Stories

Our Streets, Our Stories: A Brooklyn Neighborhood Oral History Project is an ongoing oral history project of the Brooklyn Public Library’s Department of Outreach Services that seeks to explore the Brooklyn that is, and the Brooklyn that was, from the words of the community that lives here. Listen to archived interviews:


Library Lanes

Interested in becoming the digital champion of a Bowling League? Please join Brooklyn Public Library's Library Lanes Virtual Bowling League. Participants will learn how to bowl using a Microsoft Xbox One, with monthly virtual tournaments.

Competitions are held on Thursdays, 10:30 am - 12:00pm at the locations listed below:

Arlington Library, Central Library, Brownsville Library, Crown Heights Library, Cypress Hills Library, DeKalb Library, Macon Library, Midwood Library, New Lots Library, New Utrecht Library, Red Hook Library, Saratoga Library and Stone Avenue Library.

Information for Older Adults and their Caregivers

Services for Older Adults has compiled a resource list of helpful links for older adults, caregivers, professionals, researchers and anyone else who is interested in learning more about the lives of older adults.

Nursing Homes, Senior Centers, and Residences Services

Services for Older Adults reaches beyond the library to visit street fairs, senior residences, nursing homes, hospice care, and more. We arrange for cultural programs, speakers, and presenters at senior sites throughout Brooklyn. In addition to our Creative Aging programs, we also provide the signature programs below:

  • Words and Memories (since 1974) Presented in nursing homes and other senior sites, Words and Memories is a program in which poetry, film, short stories, history and art inspire older adults to reminisce about their life experiences. (Offered in English, Spanish and Russian)
  • Talking Needles Knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and friendly conversation at senior sites.
  • Crafty Cards Participants enjoy creating their very own greeting cards for every occasion at day centers, nursing homes, and hospice facilities.

Contact Services for Older Adults:

tel 718.236.1760

Services for Older Adults is partially funded by Coordinated Outreach Library Services aid from the New York State Education Department, administered by the State Library’s Division of Library Development.

All programs are sponsored by Brooklyn Public Library’s Department of Outreach Services, which has been established with the generous support of The Charles H. Revson Foundation.



Brooklyn Public Library Creative Aging Lifetime Arts Affiliate Network Banner



Creative Aging programs at Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library is part of the Lifetime Arts Affiliate Network, made up of over 20 library systems across the United States that offer multi-session art workshops for people 50 and over, which are taught by professional teaching artists. These programs usually last from eight-twelve sessions of at least 90 minutes each, and are followed by a celebration and showcase of the work created by the participants.

Since 2011, Brooklyn Public Library has provided over 50 multi-session art workshops, taught by professional teaching-artists. These programs always end with a culminating event where participants showcase their work for family, friends and neighbors.

These programs usually happen at our neighborhood libraries, and sometimes we send them out to senior centers. We are fortunate to be part of the Lifetime Arts Affiliate Network, which provides technical assistance, funding and a roster of professional teaching-artists to choose from. BPL works with DOROT, University Without Walls to offer remote access Creative Aging programs. 

Please keep checking back to see the next set of Creative Aging programs, along with registration information.

Fall 2016 Programs:

361 Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11233
Call to Register: 718.573.5606 – Antonia Bramble
Title: Let’s Tango;  
Artist: Iati Theater – Walter Perez
Dates: Thursdays, September 1st to November 3rd, 2016;
Culminating Event: Thursday, November 10, 2016
Time: 4:30PM - 6:00PM
Central Library – Dweck Lobby
10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Call to Register: 718.230.2100, Ext. 51141 – Judith Vigo
Title: Dance Like Nobody’s Watching 2;  
(For caregivers and participants with Dementia)  
Artist: RB Cares – Stine Muen
Dates: Fridays, September 2nd to October 28th, 2016;
Culminating Event: Friday, November 4th, 2016
Time: 2:00PM - 4:00PM
No Session on Friday, October 7th, 2016
1044 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11213
Call to Register: 718.953.4225 – Patricia Howard
Title: One Of A Kind Jewelry;  
Artist: Jennifer Jacobs
Dates: Tuesdays, September 6th to November 8th, 2016;
Culminating Event: Tuesday,  November 15, 2016
Time: 1:00PM - 3:00PM
790 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11221
Call to Register: 718.455.3898 – Janice Dees
Title: A Blast From The Past; Artist: Jose Joaquin Garcia
Dates: Thursdays, September 8th to October 27th, 2016;
Culminating Event: Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
Time: 10:00AM - 12:00PM
5108 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11220
Call to Register: 718.567.2806 – Roxana Benavides
Title: Salsa & Merengue Pa’ Gozar;  
Artist: Iati Theater – Walter Perez
Dates: Saturdays, September 10th to November 12th, 2016;
Culminating Event: Saturday, November 19th, 2016
Time: 10:30AM - 12:00PM
Central Library – Online – For the Homebound
10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Call to Register: 877.819.9147 – University Without Walls
Title: Ink Wash & Watercolor;  
Artist: Ebenezer S. Devasigamani
Dates: Mondays, November 7th, 14th, 21st, and 29th, 2016;
Time: 10:00AM - 10:50AM
Midwood Center for Active Adults
4815 Avenue I, Brookyn, NY  11234
Call to Register: 718.236-1760 – Judith Vigo
Title:  Poetry Writing & Collage
Artist:  John David Johnson
Dates:  Fridays, September 23 to December 9, 2016
Time:  1:00PM - 3:00PM
Culminating Event:  Friday, December 16, 2016
Time:  1:00PM - 3:00PM
Each Creative Aging program ends with a culminating event.
Kings Highway Library
2115 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn, NY  11229
Title:  Poets & Writers - Poetry & Creative Writing
Artist:  John David Johnson
Dates:  Wednesdays, October 19 to December 14, 2016
Time:  2:00PM - 4:00PM
Culminating Event:  Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Time:  2:00PM - 4:00PM   

From top:Flatbush's Branch Poetry and Collages program 2015
photographs by Taina Evans, Brooklyn Public Library

Creative Aging Workshop at New Utrecht, 2015

For more information about Creative Aging, please call the Services for Older Adults Department at 718.236.1760. ext. 51141.

Our Streets, Our Stories: A Brooklyn Neighborhood Oral History Project

Brooklyn Public Library Services for Older Adults: Our Streets, Our Stories IconBrooklyn Public Library Services for Older Adults Image of Williamsburg Division Street

What is your Brooklyn story?

Our Streets, Our Stories is an ongoing oral history project of the Brooklyn Public Library’s Department of Outreach Services that seeks to explore the Brooklyn that is, and the Brooklyn that was, from the words of the community that lives here. The project aims is to actively collect a broad range of stories from our diverse neighborhoods so that future generations may better understand the history of this great borough.

Our Streets, Our Stories conducts interviews with Brooklyn residents, collecting their personal stories of the neighborhoods they have lived in. Interviews are informal and have been previously conducted at the Kings Bay, Leonard, Flatbush, Clinton Hill, and New Lots Libraries. Do you have a Brooklyn story to tell? You can call 718.236.1760 or email to arrange to be interviewed.

Our Streets, Our Stories in now live in the iTunes store as an official podcast! SUBSCRIBE and download new interviews to your phone each week FOR FREE. Stay up-to-date with local stories, told locally with love.
You can also hear our amazing interviews on our Tumblr and SoundCloud pages. Please visit:
We're thrilled that our amazing oral history series was nominated for the 2016 Apple Award for "Outstanding Achievement in Radio Program/Podcast" by the Guides Association of New York City!

The project is a partnership with Services for Older Adults and the Brooklyn Collection, with content uploaded to our website along with pictures and other relevant materials, to build an interactive historical map around the stories collected.


Community Scanning Events

Our Streets, Our Stories provides community members with the tools and technology to share their Brooklyn memorabilia and culture heritage materials with the world. Many items that can help tell Brooklyn’s story may be sitting boxed up and forgotten in your apartment or basement! We encourage you to dig out these items and bring them to the library.

Librarians Ivy Marvel, Sarah Quick and Maggie Schreiner.

We’re looking for materials like photographs, fliers and documents from Brooklyn families, businesses, block parties, community organizations-and anything else that tells the story of Brooklyn. More information can be found here: Our Streets, Our Stories: Community Scanning Events.


EPOCH: Electronically Preserving Our Cultural Heritage

Created by the Orange County Library System, EPOCH is a website that allows anyone to create and publish a free obituary online. Brooklyn Public Library has partnered with EPOCH to be the official collaborator for the state of New York. Publishing a free tribute to a friend or loved one using EPOCH is another way to preserve your local history and celebrate those who have passed by telling their stories.

       Publish your free tribute at


Part of a boatload of 2,500 Red Hook youngsters waves farewell as their vessel pulls away from the pier at the foot of Walcott St. They were to spend the day at Bear Mountain. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1952.


This program is sponsored by Brooklyn Public Library’s Department of Outreach Services, which has been established with the generous support of The Charles H. Revson Foundation.

Thank you for visiting Brooklyn Public Library's Services for Older Adults resource links. We are always updating the content and information on our webpage, and welcome inclusion of new websites as well as feedback. Email us at

Click on a category below to jump to resource links related to that topic:

Community blog forum on all aspects of care giving.

MySeniorCare’s mission is to support families and their aging loved ones during a highly stressful time as they search for information, resources and providers of senior care. They provide families with a wide range of support and credible information: 500+ articles reviewed by industry experts serving on our advisory board, a member community featuring message boards, user and expert authored blogs and a question and answer section called 'Ask the Experts'.

Everyday information and tips on how to keep you or your loved one healthy as well as a resource to help you find the services that fit your needs.
City Services

Citymeals-on-Wheels hand-delivers meals to homebound elderly New Yorkers on weekends, weekdays, holidays, and times of emergency.

NYC Department for the Aging
New York City's Department for the Aging provides many services for older adults including programs, job training, information on benefits and resources, and caregiver support.

Food Bank for New York City
Food, support, services and education for home-bound New Yorkers.  Especially helpful is the food bank locator just choose SENIOR and your location if you need emergency food resources.

This initiative seeks to make New York City a better place to grow old by promoting an "age-in-everything" lens across all aspects of city life.
APS is a state-mandated program that helps New Yorks (18+) regardless of income who are the following: mentally and/or physically impaired; due to impairments, unable to manage their own resources or carry out everyday tasks, and do not have anyone available or willing to help assist them.  To make a referral or get in contact, call 212.630.1853 or 311.

Alzheimer's Poetry Project
The mission of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project is to facilitate the creativity of people living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia.

Brooklyn Museum
The Brooklyn Museum offers creative and educational programs for people with disabilities, including people with dementia and people who are blind or have low vision. Brooklyn Afternoons: Art and Conversation for Individuals with Memory Loss, and Sensory Tours: Art and Conversation for Individuals Who are Blind or Have Low Vision, are held monthly.  Call 718.501.622 for more information and to preregister or email  The Brooklyn Museum also offers discounted guided tours for seniors and those with disabilities.

Elders Share the Arts
Elders Share the Arts (ESTA) affirms the creative potential of older adults and upholds their time-honored role as bearers of history and culture by using the power of the arts to transmit their stories and life experiences for the benefit of all generations.

Lifetime Arts
LIFETIME ARTS is a tax exempt, 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization that exists at the intersection of aging and the arts. Lifetime Arts serves organizations and individuals in both fields by promoting the creation, expansion and sustainability of professionally conducted arts programs for older adults.

Educational Opportunities

Kingsborough Community College My Turn Program for Seniors
Free college classes, including computer classes, for NYC seniors.

Senior Service America
Senior Service America is a non-profit organization that helps provide training, digital inclusion programs, and employment opportunities to older adults who work to fill community needs.

Grandparent Services

Brooklyn Public Library: Resources for Parents and Grandparents
Brooklyn Public Library offers the parents and grandparents caregivers of babies, kids and teens a wide array of resources and services, both in our libraries and on the web.

Brooklyn Public Library: Child's Place for Children With Special Needs
At Brooklyn Public Library, there's a place where all children can relax, play and have fun. We provide unique programs for children with and without disabilities from birth to age 12.

NYC Department for the Aging: Grandparent Resource Center
If you’re a grandparent taking care of your grandchildren, the Department for the Aging’s Grandparent Resource Center (GRC) can help you with information, peer counseling, referral to community services and support groups specifically for seniors in your situation.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
The official United States government website discussing issues and offering programs for grandparents raising grandchildren as well as childcare options.

NAC is a New York State non-for-profit health and child welfare agency with information on caregiver trainings and support groups, individual and family support services, case coordination and management, information, referrals, and advocacy; crisis intervention, and family activities.  Meant for helping children with disabilities and mental illness.

Alzheimer’s Association
Alzheimer’s Association website has information for seniors, caregivers, families and professionals.
BenefitsCheckUp helps thousands every day to find programs for people ages 55 and over that may pay for some of their costs of prescription drugs, health care, utilities, and other essential items or services.  Run through the Center for Disabled, NY.

CSS provides an Aging with HIV program that provides social workers, psychiatrists, gynecologists, and nutritionists for support on site.  Call to set up an appointment at either their New York-Presbyterian Hospital location (212.746.4180) or their location at the Judith-Peabody Wellness Center (212.746.7200).

Medicaid is health insurance that helps many people who can't afford medical care pay for some or all of their medical bills. A state administered program, each state sets its own guidelines regarding eligibility and services.

The Official U.S. Government Site for People with Medicare.

National Association for Home Care and Hospice
NAHC is the nation's largest trade association representing the interests and concerns of home care agencies, hospices, home care aide organizations, and medical equipment suppliers.

National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.

National Institute on Aging
NIA, one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health, leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life

Call for help, questions about medicine safety and interactions- all calls are free and confidential.  Save 212.764.7667 to your contacts in case of emergencies., is an organization which helps the elderly improve their health through quit smoking initiatives and provides resources for help quitting smoking habits. Quit Day can help smokers make decisions on quitting based on facts, and from the experience of their community of thousands of former smokers.

Consumer Information Guide: Assisted Living Residence

NY ALFA: Assisted Living's Voice in NY

Housing Resources for Seniors: New York

NYC Department for the Aging Housing Resources

NYC Department for the Aging NORC Programs
Learn about Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC).

Senior Services or the Elderly Safe at Home Program provdies support to 62+ seniors by helping them access public benefits, advocate with service providers, maintain the health and well-being of residents through home visits and telephone check-ups, and form partnerships with community-based organizations and law enforcement.

Individuals with Alzheimer's and Dementia

Consumer Information Guide: Assisted Living Residence

Alzheimer’s Association website has information for seniors, caregivers, families and professionals. is a supportive community for caregivers, families and professional

Information about choosing care facilities or providing home care for adults with Alzheimers.
LGBT Older Adults

Brooklyn Community Pride Center
The Brooklyn Community Pride Center's ElderPRIDE aims to address issues of isolation and companionship within the senior population by engaging them in dialogue about culturally relevant topics, with the eventual goal of opening up a broader dialogue about inclusiveness.  There is a group that meets every Monday as well as contact information for other programs.

SAGE USA (Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders)
Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults.

Money and Legal Issues

AARP Tax Aide Program
Free tax counseling program for low and middle income taxpayers over the age of 60.

Better Business Bureau
The mission of the BBB is to promote and foster the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public through voluntary self-regulation, consumer and business education, and service excellence.

Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports® and® are published by Consumers Union, an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves.

Resource for estate and will planning for New York artists, created by Columbia Law School's Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic, the Research Center for Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging, City University of New York Elder Law Clinic and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.  This was resource was created to prevent artists from having their work misappropriated or misallocated.
Brooklyn Public Library's introduction to Social Security with links to additional learning resources.

Social Security Administration
Calculate your benefits, look up retirement ages, apply for widow benefits and more at the SSA site.

Go Direct / Direct Express
Calculate your benefits, look up retirement ages, apply for widow benefits and more at the SSA site.

Services and Information for People with Disabilities and Visual Impairments

Many other public libraries across the country provide similar services for the homebound people in their communities.

New York Public Library Books by Mail 917-ASK-NYPL (917-275-6975) or TTY 212-930-0950.
Queens Library Mail-A-Book Service 718-464-0084
Homebound Services in Westchester County

Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library
Provides materials and resources for people with visual impairments and other disabilities related to reading.  If eligible, there is a downloadable book service or books by mail service that will provide talking books.  See if you are eligible and download an application here.  There also programs open to the public for those with disabilities, including a Braille study group.

Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities

Visions provides FREE individualized services for the blind in whatever language you need, including vision rehabilitation services, employment and technology services, and caregiver and intergenerational programs to support blind seniors and their families. 

National Center on Health, Physical Activitiy, and Disability: Blog Endless CapABILITIES
This blog is committed to being an open forum where all things relating to disability and/or physical activity can be discussed honestly amongst our readers. We are dedicated to bringing you the most up to date news, facts, videos, opinions and personal stories in an effort to motivate and increase awareness.


Accessibility - Apple Support
Learn about accessibility for Apple products.

Assistive Technology
Lists the types of assistive technology available.

GCF Learn Free
Free tutorials and videos to learn how to use technologies, such as the internet, e-mail, social media and Microsoft Office software. Also provides guides for reading, math, grammar and career support.

Learn Google Apps
Tutorials and information about free Google products, including gmail, Google Calendar, Google Translate and Google Drive.

Volunteer/Work Opportunities

Brooklyn Public Library Volunteer Services

Changing Lives….Building Communities Work Opportunities

SCSEP is the largest federally-funded program for older adults who seek employment and training assistance, as well as civic engagement. Through this transitional employment program, Easter Seals partners with community-based non-profit organizations and government agencies (host agencies) to provide participants with training opportunities to update their skills.
If you’re over the age of 55 and meet income eligibility requirements (low to moderate income), you can access training and job placement assistance while you earn a wage through the federal government’s Senior Community Services Employment Program (Title V). 

Mayor’s Volunteer Center of New York City

Reserve is an innovative nonprofit that matches continuing professionals age 55+ (ReServists) with organizations that need their expertise.
Veteran Resources

Consumer Information Guide: Assisted Living Residence

SAGE Vets is a division of SAGE that helps lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults access their VA benefits and provide guidance.  SAGE Vets serves LGBT military veterans in the New York area who are over 50.  To learn more or schedule an appointment call 212.741.2247 x501 and ask for the SAGE Vets coordinator.
Provides rehabilitation services for veterans in state-of-the-art facilities.
NEW: Other Resources (these are for-profit companies, and Brooklyn Public Library does not necessarily recommend them)

Senior Advisor 
Help finding assisted living and nursing homes. is a senior care resource for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones.
Provides a list of resources that you may find helpful whether you are a senior or a caregiver.  Also gives access to resources that give information on helping seniors with everyday tasks, or picking up on warning signs while caring for the elderly.

If you have questions or suggestions for this listing, please email Last edited August 2, 2016.

Services for Older Adults Photo Gallery

Featured Photos:

2016 Programs


BPL staff members Emma Clark, Lauren Fiorelli and Taina Evans at the 2016 METRO Library Conference on January 21, 2016, presenting on BPL's oral history project Our Streets, Our Stories.



2015 Programs

Frank Seddio, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Brooklyn, with BPL staff members Allison Bean and Taina Evans.



Veterans Day cards made by New York Cares, and blankets made by the New Utrecht older adults Talking Needles group for the Brooklyn Veterans Center.



Participants in the Creative Aging program.



Librarians Ivy Marvel, Sarah Quick and Maggie Schreiner at the scanning table at the Our Streets, Our Stories: Community Scanning event at the Kings Bay in September.


Brooklyn Public Library, Services for Older Adults Gallery Icon




Check out the Library Lanes Bowling Team on Instagram!


Participants in the Creative Aging program.


The scanning table at the Our Streets, Our Stories: Community Scanning event at the Leonard Library in July.