Libraries and the Opioid Epidemic

As you probably know, an epidemic of opioid addiction that’s sweeping the country. But you don’t have to be a doctor or counselor to help fight it. Let’s see how librarians can help.

In our latest LIBTalks video, Tom Vitale of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System provided a wealth of information on what libraries and librarians can do. This includes providing patrons with informational resources, and being involved in local task groups. He also touches on the controversial topic of libraries keeping the anti-overdose drug Narcan on hand. Check out the video description to see several links that Tom provided us, where you can learn even more.

And on the blog for OverDrive, they recently published an article titled How Librarians are helping to combat America’s Opioid Crisis. It provides several reading lists (of books available through OverDrive) that cover different aspects of the topic.

American Libraries, the official ALA publication, also wrote about this recently. Saving Lives in the Stacks highlights how the epidemic is affecting various libraries across the country.

Locally, libraries are getting involved too. The Central Library in Rochester recently hosted a community discussion about the crisis. And the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library has hosted several workshops from the Erie County Department of Health, on how to spot an overdose and the use of Narcan. There’s one coming up on September 12th.

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