AGING BY THE BOOK  began as “Reflections on Aging: A Reading Circle”  in 2012.  Two friends with overlapping interests in older adulthood, learning circles, and the power of stories created the project, and the Ottawa Public Library has run it in various branches.

Who we are:

Wendy Robbins:

I’m a researcher, writer, and library consultant who completed a Master’s of Information Studies at the University of Ottawa in 2011, following a 30 year career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a radio and television producer.  I’m the writer of the documentary “Aging by the Book” for CBC Radio’s Ideas.   My Master’s Thesis, A Place for Us? Baby Boomers, Their Elders, and The Public Library, investigated the role libraries can play in supporting a multi-generational aging population; this article abstract describes the project.

Trudy Medcalf:

I’m a mum, wife, grandmother and friend. A lifelong educator, my doctoral research in Education Studies (Western, 2009) asked the question, “What can older adults teach about the experience of growing old?” By listening carefully, writing, doing research, and teaching, I’m making a continuing contribution to our awareness and understanding of the psychosocial experience of growing older and living in old age. Using an adult learning model I’ve called the “elder circle,” I’m also exploring the potential of the online format to engage older adults in participatory, elder-centred collaborative learning.

AGING BY THE BOOK Volunteer Committee

A group of Ottawa reading circle participants who wished to facilitate reading circles themselves met in 2015 to create some guidelines and a handbook to support new facilitators.  Read highlights here.

This group serves as an ongoing volunteer support committee for AGING BY THE BOOK, bringing a breadth of professional and personal experience, and history as group participants, to the continued development of the program.

Facilitators for spring 2017 sessions of AGING BY THE BOOK include the following members of the Volunteer Committee:

Peggy Berkowitz retired in September 2015, after a career as a journalist and magazine editor in Toronto and Ottawa. Her last (very enjoyable) position was editor of University Affairs magazine.

Jane Butler is a professional editor, writer and researcher with a background in communications and library science. In 2013, after almost 20 years in the federal public service, she left full-time employment to pursue her own interests.

Mary Cavanagh is a former public librarian turned university professor at uOttawa’s School of Information Studies. She is a committed believer in the power of human connection particularly through story-telling, and face-to-face gatherings around tables.

Gail Taylor has long and varied life experience as an educator, program designer, peer support and community outreach coach, writer, and editor. She holds degrees in Liberal Studies and Adult Education.

Aging and engaging through the power of stories.