Residents of Monarch Landing, a senior living community in
Naperville, need never leave home to access state-of-the-art library services. Fully automated with nearly 6,000 titles, Monarch
Landing’s online library catalog allows users to search not only by author,
title and subject, but also by such categories as “book club” books, audiobooks,
CDs/DVDs, “most popular,” “resident authors,” “large print,” “award winners,”
and several more. They can even find out
which books by a favorite author they’ve already read. When residents enter the library space on
Monarch Landing’s terrace level, they already know what they want and can check
out materials with scanners that recognize their own personal bar codes, just like
in the public library. The difference,
however, is that Monarch Landing’s library is on-premise, has no due dates, no
fines, and is open 24/7.
The comprehensive library project began nearly two years ago, when residents Jackie Plourde and Kate Carmichael issued a survey to Monarch Landing residents polling their interest in and willingness to use an automated library system. When feedback revealed that the educated, well-read senior population was indeed very interested, Plourde, Carmichael and others worked with Monarch Landing’s information technology department to install the library software (donated by COMPanion Corporation) that Plourde used as a librarian at Naperville’s Madison Junior High. “You could spend your life reading what’s in our library,” said Plourde, who, along with a committee of about 12 residents, logged over 500 hours manually inputting the library’s entire collection of donated materials. “It was great to see the number of people helping with this project; there was not one person who came to help and didn’t come back,” she said. Monarch Landing Lifestyle Coordinator Sherry DeFillippo agreed: “Their dedication and selflessness were astounding. It was beautiful to watch.”
Due to the large volume of materials being donated to the library on a regular basis, said Carmichael, further criteria have been developed in terms of managing overlapping subjects, duplicate copies, and physical capacity. “We’re working on getting a bigger space, with comfy chairs and better lighting, and getting our whole collection in one area.” A retired nurse and technical writer, Carmichael has created a manual with step-by-step instructions for resident users. She also writes regular library updates in the community’s monthly newsletter. “We’ve made it as easy as 1-2-3,” she said. The library will also be used by residents of The Springs at Monarch Landing; the connecting community opening this summer, which will provide rehabilitation, health center, and memory support assisted living.
Current residents are not the only ones happy about Monarch Landing’s newly automated, extensive library collection. According to Plourde and Carmichael, it has become a focal point for people touring the community. “Prospective residents are very excited when they come here and see what our library has,” said Plourde. “It is truly unique among senior living communities and a wonderful transition for those who are used to using the public library. As more and more people realize what our library has to offer, the more they will take advantage of it.”
Find out more about Monarch Landing’s fully automated library under the “Life at Monarch Landing” tab at www.welcometomonarchlanding.com.
Monarch Landing is a continuing care retirement community located on a scenic campus in Naperville, Illinois-named “one of America’s best places to live and retire” by Modern Maturity, and “the best city for early retirement” by Kiplinger. Monarch Landing currently offers independent living, promoting a vibrant life style for active seniors. Upon completion of The Springs at Monarch Landing which is currently under construction, the community will also offer assisted living memory support, rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, thus providing complete continuing care for seniors. Monarch Landing is owned by Senior Care Development and managed by Life Care Services. For additional information visit www.WelcomeToMonarchLanding.com or call 630-548-0400.