The Sherman Public Library want people to start interacting with others outside of their own age group. To help them do this, the library is hosting a new closing the gap program.


During the program, teens will teach seniors how to use social media sites like Facebook. The class will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month, starting this Thursday.


“Generally speaking, most mixing with adults occurs within families, and for those of us with small families, it doesn’t happen much there, either,” Sherman Library Public Services Librarian Susan Banner said. “All of my grandparents passed away before I was old enough to remember them, but our family ‘adopted’ a grandmother who was one of my very favorite people as I was growing up. She taught me many things, and seemed to enjoy spending time with me, too. This sort of friendship outside the family is fairly rare, which is a shame.”


Banner said she heard about another library doing a similar program and wanted to implement it here.


“Our children’s librarian, Allie Barton, helped me to develop the idea,” she said. “Patsy Howard at the Senior Center has been quite helpful as well.”


While the teens are teaching the seniors, Banner hopes the seniors will have an opportunity to teach the teens as well.


“At the first meeting, we will take a survey of what kinds of things people would like to learn and also what they have to teach,” she said. “Depending on the talents and skills of the group, we might see different types of needlework, model building, genealogy, cooking or baking, chess-playing, origami, playing the harmonica, basic sign language — the possibilities are endless.”


Banner said this program is also about developing interpersonal relationships.


“Several of my friends are much older or much younger than I am, and there is a certain rich flavor in these friendships not found amongst people of the same age,” she said. “To put it more colloquially, if all of your friends are the same age you are, you’re missing out on something.”


Banner said this class is not a huge commitment as it is not a traditional class.


“There is one meeting per month from September through December, with the possibility of continuing if the program is successful,” she said. “One may select the meeting or meetings of interest as they arise, and only register for or attend those. Of course, it would be prudent to attend the first meeting to ensure that one’s particular areas of interest are represented on the survey — and it would be lovely if people attended all the meetings.”


Other events and activities sponsored in full or in part by the Friends of the Sherman Public Library include Authorfest, book reviews, trick-or-treat village, the summer reading program and Monday Madness children’s programs.


For more information, call the Sherman library at 903-892-7240.