Hi! My name is Robin Mazumder. Three years ago I launched a project that brought light therapy lamps to the Edmonton Public Library. Using a $1000 microgrant from the Edmonton Awesome Foundation, I purchased 3 light therapy lamps to be placed in the Stanley Milner Public Library in downtown Edmonton.

The idea came to me when I was looking at purchasing a light therapy lamp for myself. I had spent two winters in Edmonton and I noticed that my mental health tended to worsen over the winter season. My doctor indicated that I might be experiencing seasonal affective disorder and suggested I look at light therapy lamps, as they are a common form of treatment.

When looking to purchase a light therapy lamp, I found that the high quality lamps were quite expensive and that many people may not be able to afford to purchase one – and I had a problem with that. At the time, I was working as a mental health occupational therapist and was aware of the complex factors that are involved in the mental health system – poverty being one of them. I recognized that some people who might need access to these lamps the most may not be able to afford it, and so this project was my attempt at a solution. The library is the perfect place for these lamps, since you need to be exposed to them for 30 minutes – and what better place than the library with all of the stuff  you can read while sitting under the lamp? Futhermore, libraries are places of access. You can borrow a multitude of things from the library, so why not add light therapy to that list?

Since launching the project, it has inspired similar initiatives across the country, including Winnipeg, Yukon and Toronto. Most recently I brought light therapy lamps to my new home of Kitchener.

Over the past three years, I’ve been fielding requests from others interested in starting their own #Lightbrary initiative, so I decided to finally get a website together to direct people to. I also reached out to Northern Light Technologies, the company I’ve been purchasing the light therapy lamps from to see if  they could provide a discount to people wanting to do something nice for their community. I chose Northern Light Technologies initially because their lamps are high quality, sturdy for public use and they’re a Canadian company. The lamps that I bought for the project in Edmonton have lasted the test of time where they are used frequently.

Northern Light Technologies has generously offered to provide a discount to people who want to start a similar initiative in their community. Use the contact form to get in touch and I’ll follow up with you with more details on how you can get started. My hope is that we can see light therapy lamps in libraries across the country!

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