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:

Frank Seddio, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Brooklyn, is interviewed by Taina Evans and Brenda Bentt-Peters at the Paerdegat Library on December 8th, 2015. 

“They had an opening for what they call the caretaker’s position…so there I was in Glenwood Houses working in January of 1965. That began my career and my real love affair with this library.”

To hear the full interview, click here.




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); "Bi-Folkal Kits", a collection of memorabilia to spark discussion; and videos 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

Don't be left on the side of the information highway! Enjoy our suite of technology programs offered at Brooklyn Public Library.

DOROT University Without Walls:

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.

Computer Instruction:

Learning to use a computer is not just for young people. Join Brooklyn Public Library at various locations, as we explore the world of technology, using laptops (PCs and Macs), and using iPads.

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


Creative Aging Programs

Check out the Spring 2016 listings of our Creative Aging programs at various locations including senior centers. There will be more programs in the spring, 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, Marcy Library, Midwood Library, New Lots Library, New Utrecht Library, Red Hook Library and Saratoga.

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.

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

Spring 2016 Programs:

Midwood Library {English/Hebrew}  
975 East 16th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11230
Call to Register: 718.252.0967 – Steve Rosenberg
Title: Bead Weaving Made Easy; Artist: Linda Broudy
Dates: Tuesdays, February 16 to April 26, 2016; No Session on Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Culminating Event: Tuesday, May 3, 2016; Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
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: for Older Adults with Alzheimer’s/Dementia and their Caregivers;
Artist: Rhythm Break Cares; Dates: Thursdays, February 18 to April 14, 2016
Culminating Event: Thursday, April 28, 2016; Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
2115 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11229
Call to Register: 718.375.3037 – Svetlana Dubinsky
Title: Poetry & Writing; Artist: John David Johnson; Dates: Wednesdays, February 24 to April 27, 2016;
Culminating Event: Wednesday, May 4, 2016; Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
New Utrecht Library {English/Chinese}
1743 86th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11214
Call to Register: 718.236.4086 – Tambe John
Title: Voices of New Utrecht: East Meets West; Artist: Yuanlin Chen; Dates: Wednesdays, February 24 to April 27, 2016; 
Culminating Event: Wednesday, May 4, 2016;
Time:  12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Dekalb Library {English/Spanish}
790 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11221
Call to Register: 718.455.3898 – Tom Brogan
Title: Baila in Dekalb; Artist: Walter Perez; Dates: Fridays, February 26 to May 6, 2016;
Culminating Event: Friday, May 13, 2016; Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Central Library – Teleconference Phone Course For the Homebound
10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Call DOROT to Register: 877.819.9147
Title: Exploring Arts with the Masters; Artist: Danielle Bullock;
Wednesdays {Teleconference} March 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th; Time: 10:00 am to 10:50 am
Central Library - Online Course for the homebound
10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Call DOROT to Register: 877.819.9147
Title: Exploring Arts with the Masters; Artist: Danielle Bullock;
Dates: Mondays {Online} March 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th, 2016; Time: 10:00 am to 10:50 am
Sheepshead Bay Library {English/Russian}
2636 East 14th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11235
Call to Register: 718.368.1815 – Svetlana Negrimovskaya
Title: Learn and Create With Us; Artist: Ilya Shevel; Dates: Wednesdays, March 2 to May 4, 2016;
Culminating Event: Wednesday, May 11, 2016; Time: 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
6802 Fort Hamilton Parkway
Call to Register 718.748.8001 – Robert Waldo
Title: The Art of Watercolor; Artist: Nan Carey; Dates: Thursdays, March 3 to May 5, 2016;
Culminating Event: Thursday, May 12, 2016; Time: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Coming Soon:

Canarsie Library {English/Kreole}
1580 Rockaway Parkway;
Call to Register 718.257.6547 – Tom Muller
Title: Visual Arts Workshop; Artist: TBD; Dates: TBD;
Culminating Event: TBD; Time: TBD
Greenpoint Library {English/Polish}
107 Norman Avenue;
Call to Register 718.349.8504 – Izabela Barry
Title: Polish Oral History Workshop; Artist: TBD; Dates: TBD;
Culminating Event: TBD; Time: TBD
Each Creative Aging program ends with a culminating event.

Be Fifty+ and Fabulous 

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 718.230.2100. 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:


Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregiver Center
Whether you need information about early-stage caregiving, middle-stage caregiving, or late-stage caregiving, the Alzheimer's Association is here to help.

Alzheimer’s Association
Alzheimer’s Association website has information for seniors, caregivers, families and professionals. is a supportive community for caregivers, families and professionals.
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. We 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 we call 'Ask the Experts'.

City Services

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

Department for the Aging
New York City's Department for the Aging provides many services for older adults.

Food Bank for New York City
Food, support, services and education for home-bound New Yorkers.

The 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.

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 special needs, 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.

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 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.

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.


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.

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, is an organization which helps the elderly improve their health through quit smoking initiatives. QuitDay 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).

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.

SAGE (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.

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.

Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities


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.

Experience2Work: Employment Boot Camp for Boomers
This is a customized, four-week, intensive skill development and employment preparation program that will increase your competitiveness in today’s job market and increase your prospects for employment. Offered at the FEGS Manhattan Employment & Career Center, our Employment and Career staff is ready to help you develop and sharpen your skills to increase your marketability and to assist in your job search.

NYC Department for the Aging

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.
NEW: Other Resources (these are for-profit companies, and Brooklyn Public Library does not necessarily recommend them)

Senior Advisor 
Assisted Living help. is a senior care resource for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones.

If you have questions or suggestions for this listing, please email Last edited October 14, 2015.

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.