Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Motivation of Senior Citizens in Visiting Public Libraries in Developing Country

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Motivation of Senior Citizens in Visiting Public Libraries in Developing Country

Article excerpt


One of the missions and aims of the public library is to provide information services to all communities without exception, including the elderly or senior citizens. However, up until the recent days, the focus of the public library services have always been been on children's and youth's services. Whereas the services for adults and elderly visitors are oftentimes neglected. The importance of the role of public libraries in the lives of the elderly has been widely initiated, both through scientific writing, research, and practice (Kendall, 1996).

In Indonesia, the elderly population reaches 23.4 million or 8.97% (BPS, 2017). This percentage increases greatly compared to the previous years. This is a good signal for welfare development of the Indonesian people, where life expectancy is getting longer. This is one of the government's successes in improving health and social services for the community. Those who are categorized as elderly here in Indonesia are citizens aged 60 years old and above.

However, there is a threat to the elderly population, in which the senior citizens are perceived as the burden of the state if the population is not equipped with the appropriate skills and knowledge. Many of the elderly whose productivity have declined do not have regular income anymore due to them no longer working, or having their work positioned replaced. This has become an issue that needs to be solved by the government, in terms on how to build independent, elderly resources. BPS (Badan Pusat Statistik, Central Bureau of Statistics) itself predicts that the number of elderly people will increase every year. There are some government programs that support the development of senior citizens such as giving homecare, social rehabilitation, emergency social services, family support, developing elderly- friendly areas, and program lansia tangguh (tough elderly citizen program). Elderly-friendly areas include public places such as parks, hospitals, libraries, transportation, and elderly-friendly jobs (BPS, 2017). In addition, several higher education libraries also began targeting elderly people in their internet and computer training programs (ITS Library, 2017), as well as providing training so that the elderly may live a healthy lifestyle (, 2018). It can be seen from the survey that 50 public libraries in America also showed concern for the elderly by providing services aimed at senior citizens. (Bennett-Kapusniak, 2013).

Public libraries as one of the public services have begun to improve their services for the elderly. One example is how Malang city library provides a corner for the elderly to stimulate their reading comprehension (, 2018). There is also a case in which the public libraries in Surabaya that does not have special services for the elderly, yet the library has elderly visitors. Looking at the above phenomenon, this study aims to describe the motivation of senior citizens in visiting public libraries in Surabaya.

Literature Review


Motivation is both internal and external factors that encourage someone to do a job, role, or make an effort to achieve goals. Motivation produces interactions between factors that drive a person, both consciously and unconsciously such as the need, the incentive or reward and expectations of the individual ( For example, someone visits a library and uses facilities to increase their knowledge.

The motivation that drives a person can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is the desire from within to get something, experience new challenges, and to gain knowledge. While extrinsic motivation comes from outside the individual. For instance, existence of rewards or incentives. Intrinsic motivation is considered to be more durable because desires come from individuals, while extrinsics will last as long as incentives are still given (Wikipedia).

According to Maslow, in the hierarchy of needs there are 5 levels of human needs, starting with the most basic ones, which is physical needs (such as eating, drinking, shelter), security needs (financial security, health), the need to love (friendship, family, relationships with others), the need for appreciation (self-confidence, respect for others), and the need for self-actualization which includes achieving something for self-satisfaction. …

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