In 2015, librarians of Vilnius County Adomas Mickevičius Public Library created Literary Pharmacy where different books were presented in a form of prescription. Literary prescription is a short, funny description of a book, with possible side effects listed, for example a growth in the likelihood of behaving unexpectedly well, an increased interest in history, or a new outlook on the world. Prescriptions for kids were also created where children literature is recommended in a playful way. These prescriptions are designed almost the same as the adult ones, but differs in color and are decorated with small illustrations.
For the first time Literary Pharmacy was opened in the Reading festival’15. During the festival it was very popular and received a lot of attention from participants. People were enjoying the prescriptions, sharing them with others. They talked with librarians-pharmacists and got useful book recommendations. After such a success we decided to bring this idea into other events.
The Literary Pharmacy has already travelled to more than a few libraries, book fairs and festivals. Every year we actively participate in the International Vilnius book fair, last year we attended in the summer festival “Varom”. The Literary Pharmacy usually goes together with the unique board game about Vilnius created by our librarians, the internet game “Knygų lobis”, public readings and other educational activities. In 2016, this project took a new turn and “Traveling Literary Pharmacy” has started. During this one-year project in total 20 events were implemented and more than 6000 readers participated. The project invited people to various educational activities such as “Bind your own book”, public speaking lessons, book presentations, music and literature evenings, etc. This project was mostly focused on rural areas or small towns where there is shortage of high quality, interesting events for the community. In 2017 we developed the previous project and started to implement “Travelling Literary Pharmacy – the Psychologist in Your Library”. We started to organize meetings with the psychologists and psychotherapists in the libraries. By cooperating with Lithuanian Library of Medicine we created literary prescriptions that are focused on bibliotherapy (self-help) books and can help to deal with deeper psychological problems. The project travels through Vilnius and Alytus counties, small towns and villages where people have difficulties to get psychological help. These meetings in library with professional psychologists and psychotherapists are highly popular, especially among elderly people. We have already got many good responses about this project and surprisingly after these meetings all recommended bibliotherapic books are being borrowed from the library.
The Literary Pharmacy project has involved a lot of people, visited many towns and villages and already shared thousands of literary prescriptions. We hope this initiative will last for a long time and every year will restart with newly developed ideas.So give us a call, and we will gladly come to your event.