The response might seem like an obvious “yes.” But for many public libraries the answer is more nuanced. In October 2018, Emergent BioSolutions, the company that manufactures the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan (generic name: naloxone), issued a press release offering two free doses of Narcan to every public library and YMCA in the US. … Continue reading Narcan or No?
“A friend of mine is a [high school] teacher,” says NHML Library Technical Assistant Melinda Landino. “One of her students vaped in the bathroom, [then] flatlined in class. They had to bring in EMTs.” NHML is one of many libraries across the US addressing the vaping scare that gained momentum in summer 2019. As of … Continue reading Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire
Letters of the Law is a new online column exploring a wide range of legal issues that arise in libraries, from a pair of leading authorities: Mary Minow, a librarian who became a lawyer, and Tomas A. Lipinski, a lawyer who became a librarian. Together they have authored four books on the subject, including The … Continue reading Can My Library Ban Guns?
“Questions are being raised about what is the role of libraries in this epidemic,” said Sharon Streams, director of OCLC’s WebJunction, at the outset of “Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Crisis with Their Communities,” a June 24 session at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. More than 130 people die … Continue reading Addressing the Opioid Epidemic
Most librarians, she said, believe in this dominant narrative, but the process of “examining those elements and decolonizing them can be uncomfortable for many people, causing defensive reactions and revealing blind spots in one’s perspective.” Ettarh took the traditional characteristics of the library narrative and recast them slightly to give them a realistic perspective: Libraries … Continue reading Why Being Bad Is Good
It turns out results would likely be different, depending on the focus on use (medical or recreational), the academic discipline involved, the geographic location of the researchers, and the sentiment expressed about the drug’s use. Seeber and Stott, who described their study as a “joint effort,” looked at a representative sample of 540 articles and … Continue reading The Search for Cannabis
As told to Anne Ford American Libraries asked seven librarians—public, academic, and school; urban and rural—their thoughts about the many directions in which their profession finds itself pulled. “At the end of the day, somebody is dying.” Chera Kowalski Assistant to the Chief of Staff Free Library of Philadelphia Chera Kowalski has received national media … Continue reading Other Duties as Assigned
The drug maker announced the offer—which also includes distributing Narcan to 2,700 local YMCAs—at the White House, where President Trump signed legislation that aims to curb the opioid crisis. Emergent BioSolutions spokesman Thom Duddy says the company’s announcement is not directly related to the legislation, but the administration requested the company to participate in the … Continue reading Company to Supply Free Narcan to Libraries
Hendzlik, a collection buyer for Anythink Libraries in Adams County, Colorado, helped lead a presentation on medical marijuana and libraries at the 2016 Public Library Association Conference in Denver. As part of the presentation, Hendzlik handed out rolling papers and oregano and taught attendees how to make their own joints—“just to take the fear out … Continue reading Getting Blunt about Medical Marijuana
These were some of the tough questions tackled by embedded social workers at “A Social Worker Walks into a Library,” a preconference of the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 20. The session explored different models and approaches for administering social services, and how social work programs at public libraries began and evolved. … Continue reading A Social Worker Walks into a Library
Saving Federal Funding Thanks to extensive grassroots efforts by ALA members, in September the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an increase of $4 million in funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, all of which would go to the formula-based Grants to States program. The bill also included increased funding in FY2018 for a … Continue reading 2017 Year in Review
The 2017 conference has already broken ARSL conference records. More than 550 librarians from across the US are in attendance this year, according to Julie Elmore, director of Oakland City-Columbia Township (Ind.) Public Library and an ARSL board member. These numbers are up from 503 attendees at the 2016 conference. The increased attendance produced a … Continue reading ARSL 2017 Conference: Day One