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Holocaust Memorial Museum Tour

January 30, 2017
Older Adults / Seniors
Advance Planning

This idea initially was brought about at the Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior One-Stop Center. I currently moderate a monthly book group there, and we had discussed "The Book Thief" by Marcus Zusak and watched the movie. Afterwards, the group and I were so touched by the book and movie that we became interested in learning more about the Holocaust.

I reached out to the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio and asked about a group tour. Once I found that we could do a tour, I reached out to the representative of the senior center, and they were able to get transportation for 25 seniors and staff from the center to the museum.


Our marketing for this program was fairly minimal. We placed a sign-up sheet at the senior center, and I emailed my current book group members and talked to library customers about the tour.

Budget Details

Our budget was $100, which covered a donation to the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio for the tour.

Day-of-event Activity

On Monday, June 6, the seniors met at the senior center 45 minutes before we were scheduled to arrive at the museum. They were transported to the museum, and when we arrived I let the representative know the group was there. The tour began at 9:30 a.m. and ended a little before noon.

The Holocaust Memorial Museum representative, Matthew Faulkner, was so helpful throughout the process of scheduling the tour, and he was present while we were at the museum. The group was able to walk around for about five minutes to look at the museum's photographs before the speaker, David Present, began.

Once the speaker arrived, we sat down for his presentation about the history of the Holocaust. He spoke for approximately 90 minutes and afterwards, Holocaust survivor Hanna Pankowsky was invited to speak. Both Present, who is a docent of the museum, and Pankowsky were contacted by the museum beforehand.

The only unexpected challenge was that we could have used more time for questions and photographs with Mrs. Pankowsky at the end.

Program Execution

Approximately 30 attendees, including myself, attended the tour, plus three staff from the senior center. I received positive feedback from the attendees, and they were appreciative of being able to go on tour.

 I noticed that only a couple members from my book group attended the tour. However, there was still a good turnout. I learned that providing transportation is important to reaching this older adult audience.

As a librarian, I feel it is my role to provide information, and also to make the experience interesting and worthwhile. I learned so much history on this group tour, and I appreciated that I was able to experience this along with our customers.


While I knew I wanted to do a tour, I wasn't sure about offering transportation for the seniors. Once I communicated to my senior center representative, I found it wasn't a problem. My advice is to talk to people and share your ideas, and they will offer new ideas.

Short Title
Holocaust Memorial Museum Tour

I worked with a representative from the Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior One-Stop Center to organize a tour of the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio. The tour, led by David Present and Holocaust survivor Hanna Pankowsky, author of "East of the Storm: Outrunning the Holocaust in Russia," was emotionally intense and educational for the 30 attendees. We offered transportation from the senior center to the museum and back.

  • Hannah Pankowsky and Cindy Moreno take a photo with each other.
    Hannah Pankowsky and Cindy Moreno take a photo with each other. Photo credit: Cindy Moreno

A Texas library collaborated with a senior center to offer a tour of a local Holocaust museum.