Elderly Participating in Public Library Voluntary Services：A Case Study of Taipei Public Library
|關鍵字:||志工;義工;圖書館志工;老年志工;高齡者;高齡志工;elderly;Public Libraries;voluntary service;library volunteer;elderly volunteers;volunteers||公開日期:||2010||摘要:||在現今高齡化社會中的老年人，由於積累了豐富的人生閱歷，如果參與志願服務活動，無論是對社會、機構，以及對志工本身而言都是一大福音；且公共圖書館對社區居民而言，一直是個靜謐卻又不可或缺的角色，兩者透過志願服務為媒介，在圖書館遇合、發酵，不但充實老年人的生活，也有助於公共圖書館的行政業務、讓推廣活動更形多元化，兩者相得益彰。
While public libraries have been playing a quiet and indispensable role to community residents, with rich life experiences, the elderly of nowadays aging society add a valuable asset to the society, the organizations, as well as to the volunteers by their participation in voluntary services. Through volunteer services at public libraries, the unification of the two complements each other. In addition, it not only enriches the life of elderly people, but also brings diversity to public library activities. This study aims to explore the condition of elderly participation in voluntary services in public libraries. Subjects for this research have been chosen from the elderly volunteers of the Taipei Public Library. The research questions attempt to investigate and have findings for the followings : the motivations and purposes of elderly participation in volunteer services, the factors that influence their choices of entering the public library service, and the state of volunteer services, etc. This study uses a semi-structured interview and questionnaire to collect data. In order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the research subjects and to objectively interpret the research questions, the findings have been supplemented with the background material of research subjects collected from personal profile forms to achieve the relevance to the volunteer services experience of elderly participation. The total of 30 elderly volunteer aged from 56 to 85 have been interviewed. The results of the study can be summarized and categorized as follows: I. The initial motivations of library elderly volunteers include 21 items, and the major one that tops the list is time-passing. In addition, the researcher sums up 21 items into six categories, including being attracted by the nature or the library, a sense of feedback, increasing interpersonal communication and interaction, learning new knowledge and skills, satisfying internal needs of individuals, and the environmental factor in location. II. Altruistic and self-interest purpose are the two purposes of elderly participation in voluntary services. The self-interest purpose is served mainly by the employment of professional expertise, while altruistic purpose is served by providing services to the library. III. The fact that elderly choose public libraries to be the service organization is an affirmation to the public library. The reasons for the choice include organizational factors, environmental factors, time factors and personal factors as follows: 1. Organizational factors include service contents, library resources, volunteer management , and organization recognition. 2. Environmental factors include physical location. 3. Time factors include flexible use of time, family size, and if there are young children. 4. Personal factors include personal interests, and family suggestions. IV. From the research findings, it can be concluded that there are fourteen factors for the continuing participation of elderly volunteers. In order of relevance, they are : providing service and a sense of feedback, near-home location, a formed habit from regular participation, self-enjoyment, staying healthy, agreement to self-interest, time-passing, continuing self-growth, rich reward, enjoyment with children, employment of professional expertise, for librarians’ serious attitude, working on meaningful things, and enjoying the physical environment of the service organization. The researcher has organized the fourteen factors into five categories : expressing community responsibility, obtaining learning opportunities, increasing contact with society, passing leisure time, and saving the time on commute. V. The training courses and the services of elderly volunteers. 1. Majority of the elderly volunteers have no opinions on the training they have participated. 2. Elderly volunteers have responded positively in more trainings than negatively. On the negative experience, problems mainly lie upon lacking a proper channel for course information, training location being too far, and poor training facilities such as bad chair condition. VI. Elderly volunteers’ learning experience of the volunteer services. 1. During the services, elderly volunteers have experienced both positive and negative emotion, and negative emotion is stronger. 2. After the services, elderly volunteers feel they have expanded their life circles, met new friends, and enriched their lives by learning new things. Based on the research findings, the researcher offers three suggestions to voluntary service units of public libraries in terms of human resources planning, volunteer management, and library services and activities in order to serve as references for improving services for elder volunteers.
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