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Grant funds are being used to help heal those in solitude


Library uses books to help people during times of loneliness.

A northern Illinois library will tackle the subject of loneliness with the help of a community grant.

Kishwaukee College Library in Malta was one of 300 recipients of a $3000 Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grant. The grants are awarded by the American Library Association.

Stephanie Henricks is the technical services contact at the library. She said the organization researched different books to help understand seclusion.

“And then we just happen to come upon Surgeon General Murthy, his book “Together: The Healing Power of Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World," she said.

She’s referring to current U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

Frances Whaley is the director and academic support services of the college library. She said the organization will use certain tools to help bring people together.

“We are going to have some books through the grant that will be at the Kishwaukee Library for community members and our own students and employees to check out," Whaley said. "And we're going to have a guide that we have online with those books listed, as well as other resources."

The library is partnering with the Northern Illinois University, Sycamore, Malta and DeKalb libraries for a virtual event to discuss Murthy’s book. The Zoom conversation takes place at 3 p.m. Thursday Oct. 21.

The discussion panel consists of Kishwaukee College faculty. Reading the book is not required for attendance.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.