Technology and Older Adults

By Polly Roberts, Florissant Public Library Branch Manager

Remember back when you first learned to drive a car?  It was probably scary, frustrating, and just maybe, a little thrilling.  The first attempts at driving probably weren’t very encouraging – especially if you were learning to drive a stick shift.  But with practice and patience, you learned to drive and how to shift.  Now you don’t even think about what you are doing; it has become second nature.  And so it can be with technology.

Older adults have seen the greatest expansion of technology in the history of civilization. Rotary telephones have given way to “smart” cell phones. Televisions no longer pull in programming over the airwaves but instead receive hundreds of high-definition digital channels through fiber optic cables and satellites. Automobiles no longer have carburetors or AM radios – they can park themselves and respond to voice-controlled media programming via a full-color screen in the dashboard.

Technology can make life easier and more enjoyable for older adults. Benefits include:

  • Socialization: connecting with family members and friends through social media, sharing photos, video chatting with the grandkids
  • Knowledge: staying on top of current news, banking online, communicating with doctors and the pharmacy electronically
  • Entertainment: reading books on e-readers, playing games, watching videos
  • Shopping: buying anything from kitchen gadgets to gifts without leaving the house, getting special deals and coupons only available online

So why do you still refuse to use, or struggle with using, a computer?

A 2014 Pew Research Center survey on older adults and technology use highlights three key barriers that keep older adults from embracing technology:

  • Skeptical attitude about the benefits of using technology
  • Physical challenges that make it difficult to use devices
  • Perceived difficulty learning new technologies

The most relevant word in the statement above is “perceived”.   Human beings have the uncanny ability to talk themselves into just about anything – including convincing ourselves that we’re too old to learn something new, or that something is too complicated.  But that’s not really true, is it?

Following are some tips for getting started:

Ease into things.

Just face it – you aren’t going to learn all there is to know about the Internet and using a computer all in a day.  Remember the old joke about how do you eat an elephant?  The answer is one bite at a time.  To prevent frustration, set your expectations low right from the start.  Everyone gets stuck early on and it’s really no big deal.  Start with the simplest possible technology and go from there.  Keep in mind any physical limitations — if you have arthritis that interferes with typing, for example, a tablet or an oversized keyboard might be the solution. If eyesight is an issue, there are phones designed with larger interfaces, and you can increase type size on devices and computers.

Find someone to help.

Choose wisely.  Asking your son or daughter to teach you a few things may not be the best idea.  Grown children tend to be less patient with their parents than when they were teenagers.  The role-reversal involved may likely cause tension in your relationship.  Grandchildren, nieces/nephews, or even young people from the neighborhood or church do not have to overcome this constraint, and they’re likely much more tech savvy, too.  Older adults learn best in small bites, with one-on-one, hands-on “show-and-tell”.

Be patient.

You may need help more than once to remember all the steps involved in performing a particular task.  Be patient, and know that eventually the repetition will result in a new skill that can bring you a wealth of knowledge and entertainment for years.  If you find yourself getting impatient, walk away and take a break.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.

If you don’t yet have your own computer or Internet access, the Florissant Public Library has computers available for public use, and free wireless.  The library is a comfortable, no pressure setting in which you can practice your new skills.  The staff are always willing to try to assist you if you get stuck or forget how to do something.

Once older adults get online, they tend to be very active; Pew’s data show that most Web users over 65 use a computer to go online on a daily basis, and more than half use social media as well as e-mail and search engines.   What does this mean?  That once you discover the benefits of today’s technology, you’ll wonder what took you so long.


Love Your Libraries Fiesta

Summer Fiesta 2016 Banner

Join us this Sunday, July 17 at The Country Lodge in Woodland Park for our annual “Love Your Libraries” Fiesta! For just $10 per person, you can enjoy food and drink specials, door prizes and music provided by F150. All proceeds will benefit the Rampart Library District Foundation.

It’s a great way to spend a pleasant afternoon in beautiful Woodland Park, AND support your libraries! We will see you there!

State Parks Passes at RLD

Check Out Colorado State Parks at the Library!

Starting June 20, 286 libraries across the state of Colorado began circulating Check Out Colorado State Parks passes to library patrons. The pass is included in a backpack that contains maps, brochures, binoculars, and other materials. This program is a partnership with Colorado State Library, local library systems, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife and meant to encourage Coloradans to visit our State Parks and experience all of the great recreation that this state has to offer.  The Rampart Library District has 4 backpacks for circulation, 2 at the Florissant Public Library and 2 at the Woodland Park Public Library.

The pass is good for free entry of one vehicle into any of the 42 Colorado state parks.  It is a hang tag and must be visible in the vehicle.  The pass does not include camping or program fees, or licenses.  Library patrons can check out a backpack for 7 days. Begin exploring right here in Teller County by visiting these local state parks:

Mueller State Park

Edited, from their website:

Quiet forests, spring-fed mountain meadows, wildflowers of every color, and massive granite rock formations with the iconic form of Pikes Peak rising above, make this 5,000 acre park a wonderful mountain outing for Teller County residents.  A popular area for viewing wildlife, Mueller is home to abundant elk, black bear, hawks, and mule deer.  Visitors can enjoy year-round recreational opportunities including camping, picnicking, trail use, fishing and nature studies.

Eleven Mile Reservoir

Edited, from their website:

Ringed by high mountains, this 3,400 acre reservoir has ideal wind conditions that make Eleven Mile a popular, but not overly crowded, destination for sailing, windsurfing and canoeing. Motor-boaters and kayakers also find plenty of room to play during the summer months.  Anglers consistently tout Eleven Mile’s large reservoir for its outstanding fishing. When not reeling in a trophy rainbow, brown, cutthroat, kokanee, or pike, there are nearly five miles of scenic hiking and biking trails that await exploration in the 4,000 acres of land surrounding the reservoir.  Many species of birds reside in or migrate through the park, making for wonderful bird-watching prospects.

Spinney Mountain

Edited, from their website:

Built along the South Platte River in South Park, this day-use-only park offers beautiful views of the Collegiate Peaks and Gold Medal fishing waters yielding trophy-size cutthroat, rainbow and brown trout, and northern pike.  Anglers can find shoreline or fly fishing, belly-boating, and trolling opportunities in a setting that is both peaceful and scenic.  Birders have plenty to observe among the waterfowl, waders, and birds of prey that make Spinney Mountain Reservoir their home. Boating enthusiasts can enjoy the 2,500 surface-acre reservoir that has two boat ramps available, depending upon water levels.

Cheyenne Mountain

From their website:

Discover nature, from prairie to peak, at this 2,701 acre former ranch tucked beneath Cheyenne Mountain.  21 plus miles of easy-to-moderate hiking and hiking trails lead visitors from prairie grasslands through a stunning foothills transition zone of Gambel Oak and Ponderosa Pine/Douglas Fir.  The campground is open year round with a total of 51 full service campsites and 10 basic walk-in tent sites available during the peak months.  The park offers top-notch environmental education programs such as guided wildflower walks, family mystery hikes, animal education, geo-caching, Junior Ranger programs, weekly yoga, and more.

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA)

From their website:

Whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing and world-class fishing await boaters and anglers along 152 miles of the mild-to-wild Arkansas River from Leadville to Lake Pueblo.  AHRA visitors can also enjoy camping, hiking, picnicking, wildlife watching, mountain biking, rock climbing, and even gold panning along the river’s shores, deep canyons, broad valleys, and towering mountain peaks found within the upper Arkansas River valley.

Wherever you go in Colorado, there’s a state park waiting to welcome you.  Visit for information about all of Colorado’s 42 state parks.  Colorado’s state parks are as diverse as our state itself, and they, like the Rampart Library District, offer something for everyone.

Teen Advisory Board Celebrates Cinco de Mayo


The Woodland Park Public Library is so proud of our Teen Advisory Board! On May 5, they created a Fiesta to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Library guests enjoyed delicious Churro Cupcakes made by member Ruth Woolley, guacamole made by member Caelan Hobson, and Mexican Hot Chocolate made by member Jose Anthony-Bennett. Many kids played several rounds of Pin the Sombrero on the Taco, a TAB original created by Jose. They all had fun with the photo booth and made great music with the maracas.

The Teen Advisory Board has had a busy year. Together, they have created several teen programs, some terrific displays, and made great suggestions for the Teen Room and additions to our collection of Young Adult fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novels. They have played an active role in helping the Woodland Park Public Library reach out to the community.

We are currently accepting applications from kids in grades 6-12 who want to participate in the 2016-2017 year. We are looking for kids who want to make a difference in the library and the community. If you want to help with programs, design displays, make book and graphic novel suggestions for our collection, develop leadership skills, and be part of a team, we invite you to join us. We meet for one hour after school, twice a month. Stop by the teen room at the Woodland Park Public Library and talk to Leslie.


May at Rampart Library District

Rampart Library District

The Rampart Library District’s motto is “Something for Everyone!” and the month of May is no exception to that. We have a wide variety of programs for all ages and interests. Now that tax season is over and the weather is getting nicer, we encourage you to come and visit us and explore what your library has to offer.

Everyone is welcome to come celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Teen Advisory Board at Woodland Park on Thursday, May 5, 4-5 pm. There will be food, music, games and fun!


We love storytime at the library! The District offers 3 regular storytimes a week, at Woodland Park on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 am and at Florissant on Fridays at 10 a.m. Bailey, a trained therapy dog, is at Woodland Park on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30 pm for the Paws to Read program. Bailey loves to listen to children reading out loud and this helps boost a child’s confidence, eliminate nervousness and improve reading skills. You do have to preregister for Bailey by calling 687-9281 ext. 112 or emailing

Teen Programs

If you are a preteen or teen, be sure to visit the Teen Room at Woodland Park Public Library. We have a welcoming and relaxed environment, and all of the best new books for Teens. Enjoy using our computers or playing board games with your friends. On Tuesday, May 10, from 4-5 pm the monthly Fandom program will feature The Legend of Zelda. You can always stop in on Wednesdays for Wii and Fridays for Minecraft. The Teen Room will offer an opportunity to get ready to pass those end of the school year tests. Beginning Tuesday, May 10 Exam Cram Week kicks off at WPPL and goes through Thursday, May 12, 3:30-6 pm. Drinks and snacks will be provided, and we have a few surprises in store for you, too!


Have you ever seen anything in the sky, day or night that you can’t explain? WPPL is sponsoring a UFO program-The NORAD Incident: A Southern Colorado UFO Event on Tuesday, May 3rd 6:30-8 pm. Steve Alexander, the presenter, is a UFO enthusiast, hunter and author who will fascinate you with his UFO encounters. The next meeting of the Book Club at Woodland Park Public Library will be on Tuesday, May 3 at 10:30 a.m. to discuss “In the Heart of the Sea” by Nathaniel Philbrick. The Bookworms Book Club will meet at Florissant Public Library on May, 18 at 10:30 am to talk about “On the Move: a life” by Oliver Sacks.

Florissant Library

The Teller County Honors Our Veteran’s Breakfast Program is May, 11 8:30-11:30 am at the Florissant Public Library. Think coloring is just for kids? Think again. The Adult Coloring Group is having a great time at Florissant. They meet on the second Wednesday of every month from 10:30-11:30 am. The next one will be on Wednesday, May 11 and is a wonderful opportunity to relax, relieve stress, express your creativity, and meet some new people. Bring a snack to share!

If you missed our first “Cook the Book” program at Florissant Public Library, the next one will feature Greek dishes on Wednesday, May 4 from 12-1 pm.  Cookbooks have been selected and are now available at the library so you can choose a recipe to share. Copy the recipe and on the day of the program come in with your selected dish to share. For questions, please contact Florissant Library at 748-3939.

The Doctor Who Party will be Friday, May 13 from 3:30-5:00 pm. All ages are welcome to join us as we snack, play games, take pictures with the TARDIS and immerse ourselves in all things Doctor Who! Bring a banana, because… “bananas are good.”


Upcoming computer classes include Word I May 11, 10 am-12 pm at Woodland Park. There will be two Facebook classes, including one on Thursday, May 12 from 10 am-11:30 am at Florissant, and on Friday, May 13 from 10 am to 11:30 am at Woodland Park. You can learn about Microsoft Word 2013, Level II at Woodland Park on Wednesday, May 25 at 10:00 am – 12 pm. Excel I at Florissant Friday May 5, 9-10:30 am. PowerPoint Thursday May 19, at Florissant 9-10:30 am and Google Apps Thursday, May 26, at Florissant 10-11:30 am. Preregistration for all computer classes is required by calling Florissant at 748-3939 or Woodland Park at 687-9281 ext. 102.

Books, books and more books!

The Adult Fiction and Nonfiction collections have been growing rapidly throughout the first quarter of this year. Stop by and check all the new spring reads.

Listen Up!

The Woodland Park Library has Playaways®. What are Playaways®? They are pre-recorded audio books. Unlike CDs, audio cassettes or downloads, Playaways® do not need a separate player. Instead, Playaway® comes pre-loaded and ready to use with one audiobook per device—making them simple for you to use and, about the size of a small deck of cards, they are extremely portable. You can stick them in your pocket as you take a run, hike or you are at the gym. We have a wonderful selection of both children’s and adult book Playaways®. Come on in and check them out!

Rampart Library District will be closed Sunday and Monday, May 29 & 30th for Memorial Day.

See you at the Library!

By Michelle Dukette



Doctor Who at Florissant

Doctor Who logo

Calling all Whovians!

Large and Small, Young and Young at Heart!

Dress up as your favorite Doctor Who character and join the Florissant Public Library for games, activities, and themed snacks. Take selfies with the TARDIS, brush up on your trivia, practice your coloring skills, or spell your name in Gallifreyan. Watch out for the Weeping Angels!

When & Where:

Friday, April 29 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm at Florissant Public Library.


Spring Into Family Storytime at FPL

Spring Storytime

Are you ready for some favorite Spring friends? Ladybugs and Bumblebees and Butterflies… oh my! Buzz on over to the Florissant Public Library on Friday, April 8 at 6 pm for Spring Into Storytime… Family style!

All ages are welcome to join us for an evening of food, stories, songs, and fun. The Friends of the Florissant Library are serving dinner, and Miss Leslie is serving up some stories and wiggles, and even some wiggly stories.

When & Where: 

Friday, April 8 at 6:00 pm at Florissant Public Library, join us for Spring Into StoryTime Family StoryTime. Call 719-748-3939 or stop by the circulation desk to register.