Starting July 6th, Anne Arundel County Public Libraries will offer a new item for checkout. The Healing Library: Death of a Loved One is a set of materials that includes 8 books, guides for reading these books with children and relating them to personal experiences, therapeutic activities to help process emotions, and local resources. These books and activities focus on how to help young children begin the process of healing when someone they love has died. They are suitable for a range of ages 2-10 years old. The kits are held at Severn Library but can be requested to any branch location. The kits check out for 3 weeks and, like other children’s materials, will not incur fines.
This kit was originally developed by children’s librarians Megan Emery and David Moorhead at the Chattanooga and Lewiston Public Libraries in collaboration with licensed social worker, Bonnie Thomas, and children’s literature advocate, Kirsten Cappy of Curious City. The kit modified for Anne Arundel County residents was made possible with funding from the Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families. It includes local resources and connections within the county to help families continue their journey after returning the kit.
While grief is a universally shared experience, each person and family will have unique ways of navigating and managing their loss. The Healing Library cannot undo the loss or trauma a family has experienced, but we hope it can serve as a tool within a wider network of support and that it can help start a family’s path to healing.