For this assignment I decided to look into the different ways in which books and various writings positively contribute to society. One such concept that I hadn’t really delved into in my years of library services and schooling was bibliotherapy. Bibliotherapy is a form of therapeutic treatment in which books are used to assist patients with mental or psychological disorders. This form of therapy often involves four stages: identification, catharsis, insight, and universalization–in this order. As these four stages commence within the set program, patients are overseen by a facilitator who has assessed the patients needs and ultimate goals for the bibiotherapy. This tailoring of readings is usually put together withing the identification stage, in which the patient identifies with or is made aware of similarities between themselves and a character within a reading–whether it be race, gender,sexuality, situation, etc. As the patient becomes involved in the journey/challenges of the character, they are able to release suppressed emotions which puts them in stage two, or catharsis. Once this occurs, the patient develops insight in which they are able to visualize ways to address these life issues as per the character they find themselves identifying with. Through this, patients are able to come to the conclusion that their situation or the issues within their life are not just theirs, that there are similarities others face as well, alleviating feelings of isolation or being alone.
Along with bibliotherapy, I decided to research grant writing consultants/grant writing in general. I have previously heard about libraries and grant writing, but was never sure how to go about it if I myself found a program–such as bibliotherapy–where it may be a skill that I needed to hone. Through research, I became aware that grants don’t necessarily make themselves known or circulate through the librarian network. So the first thing one needs to do, is create a list of outcomes you wish to achieve as well as the progress that will need to be made. Next, it is important to find and take note of grant funders whose goals and ideals support your outcomes. Also, it is important to take into consideration that the partnership be mutually beneficial to both your proposed program as well as the company. Once you have made sure that the grant proposal is a good fit for the place you are applying, it is pertinent to establish a budget which not only is reasonable and following the company’s policy, but is itemized so that the proposal can be easily viewable by those reading it. Delving deeper into this research, I read about a method called the S.M.A.R.T. method. This is what a grant timeline should follow: it should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. I found this to be quite helpful, as not all grants have a template for those writing to follow. By having a general outline, it not only makes the process easier, but lets one’s ideas come across more clear.
For this research, I would make use of three different databases, the first being Academic Search Complete. Although this database requires the researcher to be an attendant of University of Maine or other UM campuses–such as Augusta–this database offers peer reviewed articles and citations for these articles in APA, MLA, etc, which is great for looking for prior research from librarians over the years. The second would be Credo Online Reference Services which combines content with a one-stop exploratory search platform, offering mind maps, encyclopedias and handbooks, and over 690 titles including those related to psychology and bibliotherapy. PsychINFO is another great database to find information not only on bibliotherapy methods, but also recommendations for writing successful grants.