|Natalia Tukhareli, MLIS, PhD
Areas of Expertise:Bibliotherapy (non-clinical)
Natalia Tukhareli holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario and a PhD in Linguistics from Moscow State University. She has more than 20 years of public and private sector experience. This includes service in libraries and non-profit organizations and teaching in schools, post-secondary institutions and community organizations. She is also known for her extensive scholarly research in the Humanities and Social and Health Sciences. Currently, she holds the position of Librarian at the Health Science Library at Rouge Valley Health System in Toronto, Ontario.
Natalia’s recent research project involved a systematic analysis of both theoretical and practical aspects of bibliotherapy. As a part of this project, Natalia developed an innovative Bibliotherapy Program on HIV/AIDS. She implemented this program in 2010 at Nkosi’s Haven, a sanctuary for women and children infected with HIV in Johannesburg, South Africa. The program proved to be very successful. The project results have been disseminated through the publication in the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, Vol. 6, No. 1 (2011).
In November 2011, Natalia founded a non-profit organization Read to Connect to address a variety of physical, mental, emotional, and developmental challenges and social issues through creative bibliotherapy programs in Toronto, Ontario. Her current projects include a series of book therapy workshops at St. John’s Compassionate Mission in Toronto as well as bibliotherapy booklists on abuse that were compiled for the Canadian Centre of Abuse Awareness (CCAA). She has also designed a Bibliotherapy Program for Immigrant and Refugee Women and an interactive bibliotherapy workshop for hospice volunteers.
A frequent speaker and writer, Natalia promotes the concept of bibliotherapy through academic lectures, conference presentations and publications in scholarly journals and on-line magazines. In 2014, she published a scholarly manuscript “Healing through books: The evolution and diversification of bibliotherapy.” Natalia is a member of the Ontario Library Association, the Health Science Information Consortium of Toronto, and the Canadian Applied Literature Association.