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AT THE LIBRARY: Warm up and chill out at your local library

By Jess Davey

The holiday season is a magical time for many people, full of friends, family and festivities, but things aren’t always good tidings and cheer. For many folks, December means added stress, strain or sadness. For those who struggle this time of year, your local library offers many resources that may help make things a little easier.

Whether you think this frosty weather outside is frightful or truly delightful, shorter days and changing weather can have negative effects on your mood and your health. If this time of year has you feeling blue, stop by your local library branch to try one of our Light Therapy Lamps. The lamps are meant to mimic natural sunlight on a bright, spring day, which may ease some of the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and potentially help with other mood and sleep disorders. 

Visit the health and wellness section of our virtual branch website ( for information about local health resources, and for quick links to easily browse subjects in the library’s online catalogue such as stress, depression, seniors’ health and caregiver support. Books like Living With a Black Dog and The Little Book of Stress Relief offer advice and techniques to help you better cope with the challenges of the season and manage your wellbeing.     

When the hectic holiday buzz has you craving a quiet, peaceful spot to escape and unwind, your local library has the perfect cozy corners for you to while away the time with a good book or magazine. Our diverse collection has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a recent bestseller by Tom Clancy, a classic Western adventure, graphic novels, steamy romance, fascinating pop-science and so much more.   

Winter can also be a great time to practice your favourite crafts and hobbies, or try new ones! Your library has many fascinating crafting books available for borrowing, including knitting and quilting, felting and other fibre arts, jewelry making, painting and folk art, even brewing your own beer! 

Looking to spend time and share ideas with folks who share your crafting interests? The library is part of the lively craft and maker communities in Pictou and Antigonish counties. All are welcome to stop by one of the MakerSpaces at our libraries in Antigonish, New Glasgow, Westville and River John, drop in on a weekly knitting circle, or try the monthly quilting group. For full details on all library programs near you, check out the online PARLevents calendar ( 

If cabin fever is already starting to set in, why not head out to the library? For those interested in good company, along with hot apple cider and tasty treats, Pictou Library is hosting an informal Holiday Social and Open House on Tuesday, Dec. 29, beginning at 1 p.m.

For more information on upcoming library programs, special events and services, please drop by your local library branch, follow us on Twitter, find us on Facebook, or visit us online at 

Jess Davey is manager of web services and branch manager of Pictou Library.

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