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Community: Fighting loneliness at the public library

Mar 6, 2020

According to a report released by Cigna, loneliness is at epidemic levels in America.

In fact, 3 out of 5 Americans surveyed report that they feel lonely even though they experience daily social interactions.

While it is undeniable that we have all felt lonely at sometime or another this persistent feeling of isolation is dangerous to our communities as Americans are also reporting a decline in mental health and stability. Social isolation has been deemed a health crisis that is affecting people of all ages and in all areas of the Midwest.

This got me thinking; as an organization dedicated to the well-being of its community, the public library is well-suited to address these needs.

In Kenosha, we are lucky to have public social infrastructure in place throughout our community. We have many beautiful parks for our community members to enjoy and a gorgeous lakefront. While these spaces encourage social interaction we can still experience them and feel very much alone.

The Kenosha Public Library helps you fight loneliness no matter your age or stage in life. New parents can find advice, empathy, and new peers at story times and early childhood literacy programs. Children navigating school and new found autonomy, can make new friends over shared interests like book characters or coding classes.

For years, studies have shown us the importance of positive social interactions for teenagers which is why our dedicated teen librarians plan thoughtful and intentional programming that not only educates their growing minds, but creates an atmosphere for personal growth and development.

Most people associate the library with our services for children but we know that loneliness knows no age. In fact, according to the Cigna study, the feeling of loneliness increases as we age.

Our Adult and Digital Services group creates a multitude of programs that encourage exploration and lifelong learning while also connecting adults to each other. We offer movie events that let you gather and share experiences with neighbors across the city.

Our more focused classes like the In the Making series allows you to learn a new crafting skill shoulder to shoulder with other adults who have similar interests.

Kenosha Public Library is a place to look for a job or to get information about social services. It is a place to find information, entertainment, or to serve as a diversion from the pressures of life. It is a place to be alone and a place to be around others.

The Library’s resources — books, music, and movies — provide a portal to other worlds, lifestyles, and mindsets.

Feeling lonely? Visit Kenosha Public Library and make it your lifeline for a lifetime.

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