MPL launches bibliotherapy initiative

With everything that’s going on in the world as we deal with the pandemic, many people are feeling stressed, isolated and hopeless.

According to a recent study completed by the Canadian Mental Health Association, 45 percent of women and 34 per cent of men are experiencing deteriorating mental health due to the impacts from Wave 2 of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In efforts to support Markham residents’ mental health and emotional well-being, the Markham Public Library (MPL) team has launched the Bibliotherapy initiative to use books to help make people feel a little better about life.

The idea is that books can have the transformative power to help people de-stress and view life from a fresh perspective.

As part of the initiative, MPL is offering a Book Healing service which staff work to pair customers with the perfect reads to support their mental health. Reading a book that parallels one’s own experience can make them feel less alone and alleviate stress, anxiety and general malaise.

The Book Healing service helps MPL to start an implicit mental health conversation with customers and offer escapist literature to assist with the stress of everyday life.

To use the Book Healing service, customers need to go to and fill out a form letting MPL staff know of their reading preferences. A personalized reading list will be emailed to them. They can place holds on books they like and pick them up using the curbside service.

MPL will also be creating a wide array of wellness-related reading lists and blog posts covering different mental health issues throughout the year which can be found on MPL’s Health and Wellness page.

Mental well-being is important for everyone and MPL wants to be here for Markham residents as we journey through this pandemic together.

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