Ontario: “London Public Library Mental Helpers Booking Big Numbers”
A novel pilot project that places mental health workers in London’s Central Library has been swamped with people seeking help.
“I thought it would take a little while to take off and it took no time at all, right from the get-go. We have not stopped,” Crystal McKellar, a wellness worker at Canadian Mental Health Association Middlesex, said.
“From the minute we open up to when we go home, we are lucky to get lunch.”
The response has proven that public libraries are a key place for reaching people, McKellar said.
“There are very few locations throughout our city that are community based now, and this is one place that anybody can go to. That’s a big piece of it.”
It’s not certain how novel the project is in Ontario.
The Mississauga library system began a pilot project in August that placed a homelessness outreach worker in its central branch.
Library systems in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Kitchener have hired social workers.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.