June 16th, 2024

Light therapy items among interesting items to borrow from public library


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on March 15, 2023.

Submitted photo Barbara Longair, with the Lethbridge Public Library, says lights for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) have been very popular among members.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

For many a library is a place to do research, read, borrow books and even audio or video materials. But the Lethbridge Public Library has a plethora of other interesting things people can borrow.

Among them are lights for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to use as light therapy, which consists in exposure to light that is brighter than indoor light but not as bright as direct sunlight.

This therapy is usually prescribed for about 30 minutes a day.

People taking part in light therapy place the lamp a certain distance from them and sit in front of it as they read, eat breakfast, or work at a computer. Therapy is usually started in the fall and continued through spring. Many people feel better within days of using the light every morning.

Barbara Longair with the Lethbridge Public Library said the lights have been very popular among members. She said they recently added one lamp to their collection.

“We’ve got a big one at one of our tables here at the library and anybody can use it, but we have some that you can actually take home with you, try them out in the privacy of your own home and set it up where it makes sense for you, so you don’t have to come to the library every day to use ours,” said Longair.

She said that even though the lamps cannot be placed on hold, people can call in advance to find out if they are available and they can be borrowed for three weeks at a time.

“Right now, we’ve got one at the main office, two at the Crossings Branch and one in the bookmobile. There are also other lamps in the region,” said Longair.

Light therapy lamps are also available in Cardston, Coaldale, Crowsnest Pass, Fort Macleod, Magrath, Milk River, Picture Butte, Pincher Creek, among other locations across Southern Alberta’s Chinook Arch libraries.

“They are one of several weird and wonderful things that we loan out to people, that people may not know about. If you go to our website and put equipment in the search then you can see all the wacky things that we loan out and the therapy lamps,” said Longair.

 She said one item people would not expect to borrow from the library is a rubber chicken, but they do as part of their physical literacy collection.

 “We also have some snowshoes, soccer pylons, walking polls, yoga mats that are part of that collection, and then we also have sensory kits and these are kits for children who have sensory issues so they can try them out, as they are expensive, and parents can find out which one their child responds best to,” said Longair.

 For these and many other items, visit the library’s website at http://www.lethlib.ca

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