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Revealing Elderly Motivations for Visiting Public Libraries

Revealing Elderly Motivations for Visiting Public Libraries

Lotrlibrary.com – One of the missions of public libraries is to provide information services to the entire community without exception, including the elderly. So far, the focus of public libraries has been more on children and youth services. Meanwhile, adult and even elderly visitors are rarely touched. The importance of the role of public libraries in the lives of the elderly has been widely discussed, both through scientific writing, research and practice (Kendall, 1996)

In Indonesia, the number of elderly people has reached 23.4 million people or 8.97% (BPS, 2017). This percentage is increasing compared to previous years. This is a good signal for the development of the welfare of Indonesian society, where life expectancy is getting longer. This is one of the government’s successes in improving health and social services for the community. Elderly people here are people aged 60 years and over.

Public libraries as one of the public services are starting to improve to provide services to the elderly. For example, the Malang City library provides an elderly corner to stimulate the elderly so they don’t forget to read Tribunjatim.com , (2018). Furthermore, the Surabaya City public library does not yet have special services for the elderly, but many elderly visitors come to the Surabaya City public library. Looking at the phenomenon above, this research aims to describe the motivation of elderly residents to visit public libraries in Surabaya.

This research uses a descriptive approach. Data collection was carried out through questionnaires and interviews with elderly respondents who visited the Surabaya City Youth Center library. The number of respondents in this study was 114 people. Questionnaires were distributed at the Surabaya Youth Hall City Library in October-November 2018.

The number of elderly people in Indonesia according to the 2016 survey reached 23.7 million, of this number aged 60-69 was 63% and elderly women were more numerous than men with the percentage of women being 52.52% and men being 47.48%, according to Indonesian population statistics. the number of women is greater than men. 49.64% of elderly people live in urban areas and 50.36% in rural areas. East Java, including areas where the population is entering the old population structure, namely 12.16% of the entire population of East Java (BPS, 2017: 14). The number of elderly residents is quite large, considering that the elderly population limit in each region is 10%.

The majority of seniors’ education is elementary school graduate or above (48.71%), no elementary school (31.89%), and no school (19.4%). (BPS, 2017:21). The education of these elderly people ranges from elementary school graduates to tertiary institutions, but there are also a lot of elderly people who are not in school and have not graduated from elementary school, more than 50%.

The reasons why the elderly come to the library are very diverse (Table 2), but the most common are to look for information according to their needs (39.47%), to spend free time (26.31), to relax as much as 24.56%, and to accompany grandchildren as much as 9.64%. . All the information provided in the library is free, and can be used by the elderly to meet their information needs. The information that many elderly people want is related to health, history, politics and entertainment.

Activities carried out by elderly users include reading newspapers (38.6%), reading books (34.2%), borrowing books (11.4%), reading magazines (10.5%), chatting with friends (3.5%), and accessing the internet ( 1.8%). Elderly users feel comfortable reading printed books, newspapers and magazines because it is easy and flexible, while elderly users rarely use the internet because they are not familiar with computers and online information .

Respondents’ responses related to the facilities provided at the Youth Center library include reading room facilities, whether sitting on a sofa, lesehan or reading chair; computer connected to the internet; magazine and newspaper reading room. The library room is also comfortably cool with air conditioning. The majority of visitors stated that the facilities were good (73.68%), but some said they were not good (7.89%) because they felt there was a lack of special facilities for elderly visitors.

Looking at the results above, the motivation of these elderly people can come from internally or externally. The intrinsic motivation of these elderly people includes their desire to increase their knowledge and feel happy. Searching for information, reading books, newspapers and magazines are forms of intrinsic motivation that encourage older people to increase their knowledge capacity. This encouragement makes these elderly people come to the library once a week to take advantage of the information services provided. Apart from that, the urge to please oneself through the library by relaxing, talking with other people is a form of satisfying oneself and overcoming boredom with routines at home or work. A sense of comfort, peace and relaxation can also be found in the library, making these elderly people willing to visit the library.

Meanwhile, extrinsic motivation, namely encouragement from outside themselves, which makes these elderly people enjoy visiting the library is because of the good facilities, complete collections, and friendly library staff. These three things are rewards for the elderly when they come to the library. The collection can be accessed for free and also encourages the elderly to use the library, this is in line with the results of research in Nigeria where the elderly have limited access to information sources due to lack of funds Edewor, Nelson [et al]. (2016). If the library continues to develop these three things, the motivation of the elderly will be greater and the visit time can be increased from 1-2 hours to longer.

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