London

Add 'sad lamps' to the list of items on offer at London's public libraries

The London Public Library has invested about $4000 to purchase light therapy lamps, also known as sad lamps. Lamps to be available to library users starting on January 30.

Light therapy helps with seasonal mood disorders, 'makes you feel like you're on a sunny beach'

Anne O'Sullivan, manager of customer services and branch operations with the London Public Library, sitting beside one of its new light therapy lamps. (London Public Library)

The light will soon be shining a bit more bright at your local public library.

The London Public Library has invested about $4000 to purchase light therapy lamps, also known as sad lamps.

The lamps have been used to deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression to that can occur in the winter months. 

Research by the Canadian Mental Health Association suggests two to three percent of Ontarians have SAD and another 15 percent experience symptoms.

Light therapy lamps help people deal with Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD). (London Public Library)

"I really like it. It's very bright. Makes you feel like you're on a sunny beach," says Anne O'Sullivan, manager of customer services and branch operations with the London Public Library.

"It's as simple as turning it on and sitting or reading or working in front of it for 20 to 30 minutes." 

London will join other Canadian cities to introduce the special lamps at public libraries.

The LPL has purchased 20 lamps at a cost of about $200 each.

"Light therapy lamps can be pretty expensive so we wanted to make sure that everyone in the community has access," says O'Sullivan.

One therapy lamp will be available at each of the 14 local branches across the city. The central library downtown will have six lamps. 

Try one out on Blue Monday

The library will be offering a chance to try a lamp at the Central Library on Monday morning, Jan. 21 — so-called Blue Monday.

The third Monday of every new year is said to be the saddest day of the year, but the claim is not backed up by science.

The therapy lamps won't be availabe for public use at London libraries until Jan 30, Bell's Let's Talk Day.

O'Sullivan adds that, although the lamps can be effective at dealing with mood disorders, people who believe they have depression should still see a medical professional.