linkAges Partner Spotlight: Mountain View Public Library

Every month, we’ll be spotlighting different linkAges partners and the wonderful contributions they’ve made to our community.

This month, discover how we’re working with Ellen Thayn, Adult and Virtual Services Librarian and Karin Mente, Adult and Virtual Services Librarian from the Adult Services Department at the Mountain View Public Library to bring technology access to more older adults in Mountain View!

 


 

Tell us a little bit about your organization. 

The Library’s mission is to be the information center for our diverse community providing a dynamic place to share resources and ideas, to find joy in reading, and to experience the power of lifelong learning.

The Adult Services department at the Mountain View Public Library specifically provides community programming and resources.  Librarians plan and present events for the community. Librarians also evaluate and purchase physical and digital resources for the library’s collection. We strive to have a collection of free materials that meet all our community’s needs.

How did you first learn about linkAges?

We first heard about linkAges when City Hall hosted a linkAges SkillShare event last September.  It sounded like such a brilliant and simple idea that we were immediate fans.  So many people who visit the library either have something in mind that they want to learn, or they have an idea that they want to share with the community, so to the Library and linkAges are the perfect match!

How have linkAges members connected with your organization?

linkAges members volunteered for a technology tutoring night at our library. During the event, linkAges volunteers paired with Library customers to demonstrate and teach basic computer skills.  Everyone who attended the event praised the volunteers on their helpfulness.  The Library looks forward to partnering with linkAges for similar events in the future.

What is one thing you love about working in your community?

Being engaged with the community is the best part of being a librarian at the Mountain View Public Library. Every day we work with members of the community to fulfill their information needs, whether that is gathering resources for starting their own business, locating a historic photo of Moffett Field, or even finding a way to de-stress and relax with a book (or at our coloring programs!) We truly believe in lifelong learning and we love being the place where the community can both learn and share in knowledge.

linkAges Advocates complete spring internship!

After a six-month internship period, our latest group of linkAges Advocates concluded their internship at the David Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation (the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s innovation center) in June.

The Innovation Center welcomed these four linkAges Advocates, in January 2015 and they were selected for their passion and interest to support healthy aging in the community.

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From left to right: Stefanie Kong, Elena Haight, Dominic Boccaccio (Advocates Program Coordinator), Margret Mendenhall and Stacey Urauchi

Though all four Advocates attended Santa Clara University, they had different reasons for wanting to join the linkAges team:

Stefanie Kong’s close relationship with her grandmother helped her realize the importance of social connections in promoting a high quality of life for older adults. She saw the internship as an opportunity for an “infusion of youth” into the lives of seniors, and vice versa.

Elena Haight understood the role of mental health in overall well-being, and wanted to explore a more holistic view of health outside of the clinic.

Margret Mendenhall wanted to play an active role in the expansion of resources for aging baby boomers, leveraging technology to bring families closer together.

As a public health major, Stacey Urauchi learned about the booming senior population and saw this as an opportune time to get involved as healthcare evolves and shifts.

At the start of their internship, they went through an intensive two-day training session. Training modules ranged from motivational interviewing, to program logistics, with in-depth preparation for situations around privacy, effective communication with seniors, and teaching technology. Through the course of the internship program they drew upon these skills to empower their work and inform their outreach strategies.

The Advocates spent a considerable amount of time at local community sites, including the Mountain View Senior Center and the Sunnyvale Senior Center, to provide one-on-one technology assistance to older adults.

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These experiences were incredibly rewarding to the Advocates because, as they pointed out, few college students have the opportunity to interact with seniors on a regular basis.

The Advocates also helped spread the word to patients and community about the linkAges TimeBank Program when visiting the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Mountain View and Palo Alto Centers. Through partnership with PAMF”s Community Health Resource Centers, they coordinated outreach for interested patients and staff.

Another important piece of the linkAges Advocates internship program is that interns are asked to develop a self-guided personal project. This cohort of Advocates decided to initiate outreach to the Santa Clara community, an area of expansion for the TimeBank with only a handful of existing members. They contacted student groups at Santa Clara University, faith-based groups, community leaders, and local healthcare providers. Their project concluded with a community event at The Forge Garden. Fifteen people attended the event and got their hands dirty while learning about sustainable gardening – and were able to learn more about the linkAges TimeBank too!

Thank you and well wishes to this group of linkAges Advocates and thank you for your service during your internship!

This group of Advocates made monumental impact for good, both on the internship program and the community. They helped older adults through home visits, technology assistance, and other TimeBank exchanges. They learned about health outside of the clinic during a monthly speaker series, and they had the opportunity to take a significant role in program deployment strategies. And, they did it all with passion, maturity, skill, and innovation. We’re going to miss them, but wish them the best on their continued career paths to make a difference in the health and well being of local communities.

 

linkAges TimeBank celebrates launch in City of Palo Alto

On June 18, approximately twenty-five linkAges TimeBank members and local residents came together at Bol Park to celebrate the launch of linkAges TimeBank in Palo Alto. In addition to a festive summer picnic, fun and games, guests enjoyed visits by stuffed donkey and city goodwill ambassador Palo Alto Perry, and the real Barron Park Donkeys, Pericles (Perry) and Niner.

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This event was a great opportunity for Palo Alto residents to meet current TimeBank members and learn more about the linkAges TimeBank, while enjoying the great weather and beautiful location.

Since its city launch in March, more than 75 people in Palo Alto have signed up for the TimeBank, either independently or through organization partners, such as Beth Am, Palo Alto YMCA, and the City of Palo Alto Utilities Department and Zero Waste Departments. Local TimeBank members shared their experiences with guests and made new social connections by playing a get-to-know you bingo game and posing for photos with our donkey friends.

We are planning launch parties for all of the new communities in which we deploy the TimeBank. It’s our way of welcoming new members and showing appreciation for the residents of the diverse cities which make up the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Be sure to check the linkAges TimeBank website, Facebook and Twitter pages for updates about launch parties in your area.

You can find more photos from the event on our Facebook page.

Linking Together for a Greener Tomorrow

One of the most rewarding aspects of timebanking is the opportunity to share your skills with others in your community. From recipe swapping to sharing gardening techniques, linkAges TimeBank members are constantly finding ways to learn from each other through their exchanges.

Now, there’s a new way to learn from your neighbors in Palo Alto. The City of Palo Alto has partnered with the linkAges TimeBank to recruit “Ambassadors” for home utility efficiency and zero waste practices. Trained Ambassadors will be matched up with Palo Alto residents interested in reducing waste and becoming more energy and water efficient. Palo Alto residents can join the linkAges TimeBank to receive energy efficiency and water efficiency services…for free!

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The goal of the Ambassador Program is to help Palo Alto become a more eco-friendly city while creating intergenerational connections to build a strong social support network for our community – another way in which community can use the linkAges TimeBank to bring people together.

The City of Palo Alto Utilities and Zero Waste departments will provide Ambassadors with all the necessary materials and training. Ambassadors will be able to provide some or all of the following services listed below and earn TimeBank hours for doing it!

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Energy & Water Efficiency Services

  • In-home energy and water efficiency education
  • Installation of:
    • Weather-stripping
    • LED light bulbs
    • Hose nozzles
    • Water-efficient faucet aerators
    • Low-flow shower heads
  • Toilet leak detection

Zero Waste Services

  • In-home Zero Waste education on topics like recycling, reusing, household hazardous waste, and Palo Alto’s new Food Scraps Composting Collection Program
  • Removes names from junk mail lists
  • Helps residents prepare for their Clean Up Day appointment
  • Assists with creation of less-toxic household cleaners
  • Assists with food waste reduction

Ambassador trainings are ongoing, and you do not have to be a Palo Alto resident to become an Ambassador. If you’re interested in becoming an Ambassador, please email timebank@linkages.org to learn more and register for an upcoming training.

If you are not yet a member, get started by signing up for a linkAges TimeBank orientation session at timebank.linkages.org.

linkAges TimeBank hosts 2nd Annual Tech Day for Older Adults

Over 80 older adults from Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View and other surrounding communities improved their ability to use their personal technology devices to connect to their friends and loved ones at the 2nd Annual Technology Day for Older Adults, held at the Los Altos Library on Saturday, May 16, 2015.

a good crowdTwenty-five volunteers from Stanford, linkAges TimeBank, Bullis Charter High and Egan Junior High came from as far as Oakland and San Jose to provide individualized, one-hour sessions with older adult attendees. Topics included how to better use a computer, smartphone, tablet and social networking applications like Facebook or Skype.

Adults and volunteer pairs filled the Los Altos Library, spilling out into the lobby, Children’s Room and Teen Study Room. Judith Gregg, community librarian for the Santa Clara County Library District, beamed about the record turn out. “Libraries aren’t meant to be quiet, silent places anymore. We are thrilled to facilitate such learning exchanges across the generations.”

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Dilip Kumar, an 8th Grader at Egan Junior High School was enthusiastic about volunteering. “I had a lot of fun volunteering for the tech day. I really enjoyed working with the older adult and teaching her how to download apps to her iPad.  It was also nice chatting with her about what it was like to grow up here in Los Altos.”

The older adults who attended shared how appreciative they were for the “learning opportunity” and one even mentioned how glad to not be “made fun of or ridiculed” for not knowing how to use their device. In general, attendees of all ages benefitted from the day!

IMG_3513We’d also like to give a special thank you to the Los Altos Library and Los Altos Library Endowment for use of the space and laptops during the event.

Those who want to continue giving and receiving technology help are encouraged to become members of the neighborhood service exchange network,  linkAges TimeBank. For additional photos from the event, visit our Facebook Page.

Partner Highlight: El Camino Hospital and the “Meet and Move” program

By Christina Araiza, Community Outreach Manager.

Meet and Move - blogCommunity partnerships are invaluable to the linkAges TimeBank. It is through our partners that we can reach more people, spread our mission, and support our neighbors who need it most. El Camino Hospital is one partner that shares in our goal to support the health and well-being of the local community. Last year, El Camino Hospital, Palo Alto Medical Foundation and linkAges decided to look at innovative ways to support family caregivers and their loved ones. As a result, we launched Meet and Move, a “walk and talk” program for family caregivers.

First, we ran a 3-month pilot to determine how the program would work. Over thirty family caregivers joined from Meet and Move group walk - blogaround Silicon Valley. They walked together, shared their caregiving experiences and focused on prioritizing their own health so that they could continue taking care of their loved ones. Many saw an increase in their physical activity and long-lasting friendships were formed.

Meet and Move flyer - blogWith this success, we decided to continue partnering and officially launch Meet and Move in October. Participants will join the linkAges TimeBank and connect with each other in a private “Meet and Move” group. Through the TimeBank, Meet and Move participants can schedule walks and group events, chat with each other, help each other out, and share resources.

Thank you El Camino Hospital for your continuous support as a partner!

If you would like more information about Meet and Move, or would like to sign-up for the fall, please contact us at linkagestimebank@gmail.com.

 

Engaging locals businesses with linkAges

The linkAges TimeBank could not be what it is without our amazing community partners. They help us organize events, host orientations, and get the word out to more individual community members. Recently, we successfully launched the program Meet and Move with one of our partners, El Camino Hospital, to encourage caregivers to walk together, getting exercise and creating friendships. Over the past year we have engaged with over 20 community organizations in partnership.

Now we have individuals and community nonprofits participating in the linkAges TimeBank. We are going even further this year to engage businesses! We want the linkAges TimeBank to be as community driven as possible, and for that to happen we want to include all sectors! We are carefully selecting business in the community that are mission aligned with linkAges, and together we will aim to improve the health and wellness of our community.

We have several business partners already, and business partnership can several different forms! Red Rock Coffee, on Castro Street in Mountain View, was our first business partner and has been instrumental in helping us shape our business partner model. They offer 2 for 1 coffee discounts to linkAges TimeBank members as well providing us space for monthly orientation sessions. Yoga Belly, a yoga studio in Mountain View is an outreach and education business partner of the linkAges TimeBank. They provide information about linkAges to their client population and inform the TimeBank community about meditation and wellness. Additionally, Morocco’s Restaurant is a partner, offering 20% discounts on dinner to linkAges TimeBank members.

Our newest business partner is Hobee’s Restaurant in Palo Alto and Sunnyvale.  Did you just start salivating thinking about that warm, delicious coffee cake? Mine sure did! Hobee’s is being incredibly generous in providing us with coupons for dinner discounts to incentivize linkAges membership! How sweet is that (pun intended haha!)?!

These are just a few examples of how local businesses have started to engage with the linkAges TimeBank. To learn more about our businesses and how they support the TimeBank please visit: https://timebank.linkages.org/partners/business.html

So…let’s put those TimeBank memberships to good use! Coffee on Tuesday anyone? How about a dinner date at Morocco’s? See you there!