This study investigates the possibility of undetected access obstructions preventing senior citizens from using digital information maintained by Alabama public libraries. Research methods include a literature review, a survey of Alabama public library administrators, and a textual analysis of online public library programming guides from four urban areas within the state. The survey gauges the perceptions, experiences, and actions of library administrators pertaining to digital library accessibility for senior citizens. The textual analysis component measures significant outreach efforts by public libraries targeting senior citizen patrons. Data collected suggest that Alabama public libraries lack unity and direction in their approach to digital technology training for elderly citizens, and this lack of effective outreach is contributing to a dysfunctional communicative relationship. This dysfunction is identified as a comforting silence, a communicative void in which inaction and indifference work covertly (and often unintentionally) to restrict digital accessibility for Alabama’s senior citizens.

Publication Date

Spring 5-3-2022