Connections: Virtual Anti-loneliness Programs in the time of COVID-19

Loneliness and social isolation are rampant in America, according to many experts. The Center for Disease Control calls loneliness an epidemic and says it has a higher morbidity rate than obesity (about the same as smoking two packs of cigarettes a day). Studies have shown that loneliness cuts across all age, social, race, and economic demographics. We have
many virtual friends, but few in reality. COVID-19 has exacerbated this problem. While many of the programs outlined are designed for in-person, there are ways public libraries can help combat loneliness even in a remote fashion.
The Oceanside Library has created a program to combat social isolation/loneliness. The program, Connections, crosses all demographics and includes passive as well as active programming.
The presentation will address:
• Identification of existing programs which have an anti-loneliness component in them
• Creation of programs which have anti-loneliness as a key function
• Adjusting programs to have an anti-loneliness component
• Dealing with COVID-related issues

Tony Iovino has been the Assistant Director for Community Services for the Oceanside Library since January 2015. Prior to that, he was the head of litigation and managing partner for a law firm in Garden City that he started in 1986. Tony received his undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond, his Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law, and has completed a Master of Science in Library Science program at the University of Kentucky.

Tony is a published author (Notary Public Enemy, Diversion Press) and poet. He served on the Oceanside School District Board of Education and has served as a director and attorney for dozens of non-profit and public boards. He and his wife of 40 years, Angela, have two grown daughters.

Class Date:
Region/Office: National
Oct 7, 2020
2:00PM – 3:00PM CT

Bobbi Newman, MLIS, MA, Community Engagement and Outreach Specialist

Continuing Education Credits: