By Jimmy Fisher
WEST PITTSTON — The West Pittston Library is helping older residents learn about the newest technology.
Jen Moran, Adult Programming Coordinator at the West Pittston Library, is currently running a short program for the summer teaching senior citizens how to use social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest in a program called Social Media for Seniors.
The purpose for the program, Moran said, is to keep seniors up to date on today’s modern technology and keep them in touch with friends and family.
“The Social Media for Seniors was something new,” Moran said. “There is just a need for it and we have a lot of older patrons. People who are 55 and older, they want to learn how to do it and are looking to learn in a very relaxed, casual environment and that’s what we’re able to provide for them.”
While the title has the word “seniors” in it, Moran said there really is no age requirement to be part of the program, as it is open to adults of all ages.
The Social Media for Seniors program goes hand-in-hand with the library’s Computer Basics program that goes over the basics of how to use a computer. That program just recently ended for the summer, but Moran said it will be back in the fall.
It was during the Computer Basics program, Moran said, that she had some older people approach her asking about using social media which sparked the idea to start the Social Media for Seniors program.
“We have a lot of regulars who come to our technology programs, but we’re getting new people too,” said Moran.
The first Social Media for Seniors class was held on June 11 and it covered Facebook.
The turnout for the first session was better than Moran anticipated and she covered a lot of the basics to how Facebook works as well as how many users it has, how to register for an account, how to post on a timeline, looking for friends and other things.
The feedback Moran received has been overwhelming.
“They loved it,” she said. “They especially loved that they were able to take home what I told them, as well. Usually, when they come back in for the next class, because we have people signed up for all of them, I’ll ask how they’re doing or if they have questions. I know with our Computer Basics program every week when people came in they said they were learning more and trying it out. They’re a little bit more comfortable that they have someone showing them and they have something a little more concrete they can fall on.”
The next Social Media for Seniors program will be held on Thursday, July 9 and will go over Twitter.
Moran said that class will run similarly to the Facebook program in terms of how to sign up, but she understands not everyone will use Twitter to communicate with friends and family.
“I know a lot of people sign up for Twitter, not to post their own tweets, but to follow other people,” said Moran. “They don’t have to tweet anything themselves if they don’t want to, but they’re able to receive a lot from other people and that’s apparently very common.”
Moran said this summer marks for the first time the library has held a Social Media for Seniors program, but it will not be the last as she said she will most likely do it again in the winter after the program concludes on August 20 with its last session.
With three programs remaining about Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, Moran believes the Pinterest one might attract the most people.
“We are all big pinners here,” Moran said. “We even have a Pinterest page for the West Pittston Library. I think Pinterest will probably be the one that’s the most interesting and it’s the most fun because you’re able to show people all the different things they have, even if they don’t realize what’s out there. Kind of like digital hoarding.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher