The  Launch Ceremony of the “Healing Library Project” Was Held

The launch meeting of the "Healing Library Project Bibliotherapy Applications" (İKUP) project, in partnership with Marmara University and the Rami Library of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, was held at the Marmara University, Rami Library on Thursday, 14 December, 2023, with the participation of Rector Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kurt, Libraries and Publications Deputy General Manager Mehmet Demir, Rami Library Director Ali Çelik, academicians and many guests.

The project, which was implemented with the slogan "Heal With Books, Strengthen With Words", aims to introduce librarianship services for community-based mental health development in Turkey and to contribute to cultural development by improving the reading culture. Bibliotherapy, which means improving mental health through reading books, aims to contribute to the problem-solving process by enabling individuals to know themselves better by bringing together the right book with the right person at the right time. The first 6-month period of the project, which includes protective and preventive practices for mental health for both adults and children, has been completed. A total of 8 thousand 583 people were reached within the project including various activities such as reading events, book clubs and guidance sessions, 72 hours of theoretical training, 9 pilot applications, 36 adult workshops, 47 children's workshops, 10 panels, 48 seminars and 37 interviews. With the launch of the second 6-month period, bibliotherapy practices will continue as a routine process in Rami Library. In the second year of the project, a Bibliotherapy Training Center will be established and bibliotherapy trainer training will be given for public librarians. While the project aims to spread bibliotherapy applications in other libraries, in the third year of the project, it is also planned to establish a Bibliotherapy Research and Application Center in Rami Library and provide services on a national level.

The Healing Library Project is carried out under the coordination of Rami Library Director Ali Çelik and Deputy Director Levent Polat, and by the execution of Librarian Zeynep Gözde Şen. The Principal investigators of the project are Assoc. Prof. Mehlika Karagözoğlu Aslıyüksel from the Marmara University and Dr.  Funda Yeşil from the Medeniyet University.

Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kurt: “I am proud to be a partner in this project”

Marmara University Rector Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kurt said that he was proud and happy that the Rami Barracks, which dates back to the 18th century, was revived as the Rami Library. Saying "Throughout history, our ancestors have valued a library with walls full of books above even the most precious treasures. No matter which city we go to in our country, we see libraries that illuminate the surroundings like a lamp and defy the centuries," Kurt stated that besides offering a modern librarianship service, Rami Library also has become one of the focal points of Istanbul's science, art and culture life with its living library concept.  Rector Kurt underlined that the devoted efforts of the two institutions based on to develop consultancy and guidance-oriented user services in addition to librarianship services resulted in the 'Healing Library Project'. He ended his words by saying "As one of Turkey's most powerful and well-established higher education institutions, I am extremely proud to be the partner organization of this project. As Marmara University, we continue to do our part as best we can to realize the upcoming processes and implement the project."

“100 Libraries to  the 100th Anniversary of the Republic”

Stating that they aimed to open  100 new libraries in the 100th anniversary of the Republic, Deputy General Manager of Libraries and Publications Mehmet Demir said that they opened the 88th library in Yozgat and that they will reach the goal by opening the 100th library by the end of the month. Stating that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has implemented new projects to fulfill this mission more effectively and further enrich our society, Demir said, “The healing effect of libraries comes primarily from their contribution to the development of individuals. Books are the doors to knowledge, as well as enriching the individual's world of thought, developing imagination and supporting the lifelong learning process.”

“Healing with Books Happens in Libraries”

Rami Library Director Ali Çelik noted that they aim to enable people of all ages to heal with books, and to transform the libraries into places that increase emotional and mental relief. Çelik pointed out that it should not be considered a method applied only in clinical environments by looking at the concept of therapy in the “bibliotherapy” word and added "Libraries have become one of the important centers of developmental bibliotherapy applications all over the world. It is quite natural that healing with books happens in libraries, which are the home of books." Stating that bibliotherapy practices are possible when place, time, book and person become whole, Çelik said, "the main purpose of our project is to bring together the right person with the right book in the appropriate place and time, and at the end of this process, to ensure that libraries are important spaces  for a reading-based improvement and development."

Assoc. Prof. Mehlika Karagözoğlu AslıYüksel explained that cultural development is as important as economic development and that to reach cultural development, society must acquire the habit of reading.

Following the presentation of certificates of appreciation and gifts to those who contributed to the project, the ceremony ended with the concert given by Assoc. Prof. Melih Güzel, a lecturer at the Marmara University,  Atatürk Faculty of Education.