The Little Program that Could Surfin' Seniors



Community Background

Map of Parry Sound
Beautiful Georgian Bay

Population of Parry Sound and Contracting Municipalities:

Parry Sound (6,500)

Archipelago (531)

McDougall (2,700)

Carling (1,125)

Year-round residents served at Parry Sound Public Library:


Summertime residents served at Parry Sound Public Library:

Almost 40,000!

Do libraries exist anymore?! Libraries exist!

Technology is constantly evolving!

Program Development

Ministry of Seniors Affairs, Seniors Community Grant Program


Program Launch

Surfin' Seniors group classes accommodate larger groups of people!

Our First Lessons:


Intro to Email

Overdrive Basics

iPad Basics

Browsing the Web

Feedback Results:

Windows 10!

Internet Safety

Online Banking

iPad Settings

Social Media

Internet safety is extremely important!
We need to inform seniors of the possible risks of using the Internet.
Grumpy Cat agrees!

Community Partners:

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)

Anywhere Computer Training

The Royal Bank of Canada



Various learning levels!

Remembering to slow down and use basic language.


Basic lessons with tips and tricks for everyone.

Peer tutoring.

One-on-one sessions are great!

Lesson Speed! Speak slower.

Use Basic Language, not "tech terms."

Be clear and go step by step!

Any Questions?


The Lessons

Feedback Forms:

Lesson Handouts:

Some of our past lesson topics include:

Class Structure:

Any Questions?


Laptops and/or tablets
A projector and screen
Laser pointer
Sound-amplifying headset
Feedback forms, notepads and pencils
Microsoft Office Powerpoint (if you opt for slides) and Microsoft Office Word (to create handouts)
Lesson handouts
Technology book display, registration forms, extra handouts, and copies of our most recent newsletter!
Complimentary water bottles
Classroom setting (chairs and tables)



We had about 350 participants during the initial 8-weeks!
This is SUCH a worthwhile program. Thank you!
Very pleasant & patient instructors - thanks!
I am very excited you are offering this class and I hope it will continue.
The class is very informative. I hope you continue having classes in the future. Thanks, I enjoyed it.
I would like to say thank-you for your care and devotion on teaching us about the new toys of technology.
Our instructors taught us to be both cautious when surfing, but also encouraged us to try new programming, giving us great tips.

Why This Program Was Successful:

Formed many new partnerships with local organizations!
Helped foster economic development in the Parry Sound region!
Increased membership from both Parry Sound and contracting townships!
Positive impact on collection development (computer-training books).
Promoted circulation of our non-fiction technology books!
Highlighted the need for more online resources.
Our staff is better equipped to answer daily technology questions at the front desk.
Promoted Parry Sound Public Library as a community resource for computer help.

Photos from the Surfin' Seniors Celebration:

Awards & Recognition:

Surfin' Seniors won the Public Innovation Award at the 2018 Parry Sound District and Muskoka Impact Awards!

Surfin' Seniors won the Excellence in Technology and Innovation Award, presented by Ontario Library Service North!


Any Questions?

Thank-you all for listening! We hope you enjoy the rest of the Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2019.

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