Escaping into the world of books is a joyful and relaxing pastime for people of all ages. Reading sparks curiosity, imagination and social connection with others and the world. Books inspire learning, which keeps the mind sharp and engaged in the world.

Anyone – especially seniors – who love books and have a fun-loving spirit will find themselves right at home in a library. Studies have found elderly people, despite failing eyesight or physical and cognitive decline, are among the most engaged readers and avid users of the local library. 

The local library offers many activities, courses, resources and social opportunities, specifically for seniors. In the Sutherland Shire there are eight Local Library branches in Sutherland, Cronulla, Miranda, Caringbah, Engadine, Sylvania, Menai and Bundeena. 

The local library is not just for bookworms and every Sutherland Shire branch offers a broad range of social, educational and general services for seniors, besides book loans. Some of the regular group activities and services you can tap into include the home library, computer help, family history and heritage, knitting groups and many educational or recreational classes and events.

A Sutherland Shire Library is a great place to visit any day of the week and the best thing is many of the activities and services on offer for older people are free:

Home library: Sutherland Shire Libraries provide a Home Library Service for residents who are unable to visit the library due to frailty, disability, illness or carer's duties. Free fortnightly deliveries are made to Sutherland Shire residents in private homes, aged care services and participating nursing homes. Large print and audio books are available, while DVDs, music and magazines can also be provided.

Computer and technology help: Learning to have greater confidence with technology can open a whole new world to a person wishing to connect with family and friends online, share digital photos, search the web or shop online. Public libraries have a natural synergy with lifelong learning, so understanding and mastering technology devices give the person the tools and confidence to pursue this. The library tech gurus will help with basic skills such as creating an email address, downloading photos from a camera to a computer, completing online forms and attaching photos to an email.

Knitting and Crochet groups: Knitting and crochet are proven to ease pain and increase movement in arthritic hands and wrists while also keeping the mind sharp! It’s always good to have a yarn with others while you knit. Several knitting groups meet each week in the libraries throughout the Shire. With no experience or skill-level requirement, even the beginner can join this wonderful opportunity to meet other crafty seniors and make new connections in the community.

Genealogy resources, for family history research: Many people wish to research their family history and pass on their knowledge of names and stories to family members. Sutherland Shire Libraries have many genealogical resources such as births, deaths and marriages, immigration and convict records, electoral rolls, Sands directories and cemetery inscriptions.

A trip to the library is always different, with so much to offer. The libraries in the area also host special events, courses and activities including:

  • Movie screenings

  • Mahjong and scrabble groups

  • Calligraphy and art classes

  • Science studies

  • Recipe club

  • Book swaps

  • Craft-making, boomerang bags

  • Author talks

Subscribe to the library’s email mailing list to stay up to date with all the upcoming events, including the senior’s festival in February 2020.