Monday, May 21, 2018

Library Programs for Teens with Disabilities

Presented by Joe Houlihan, SPPL, Renee Grassi, DCL, Gao Yang, SPPL and MELSA/Minitex

Public libraries have a mission to serve and include all members of the community, including teens with disabilities.  Renee Grassi, Joe Houlihan, and Gao Yang will help you learn more about this topic by sharing their own experience serving teens and young adults with disabilities in public libraries.

Our presenters talked about how when we think about the "Libraries are for Everyone" logo we should remember people with disabilities and that equality-making sure everyone has the same is not always equity.

Image result for equality equity

Barriers to Library Visits:

  • Transportation
  • Perception of Service-May have had a bad experience in the past.
  • Language-Communication difficulties, may be nonverbal
  • Attitude of staff and customers
  • Caregivers may be anxious about letting loved one with a disability be out on their own,  can be hard sometimes to allow natural teen-parent separation
  • Different cultural attitudes towards disability, may be anxious/reluctant to go out in public (DCL trying to reach out to Somali community)
  • Families with loved ones with disabilities/people with disabilities, may have busy schedules, can be tricky to reach.

 To define invisible disability in simple terms is a physical, mental or neurological condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities that is invisible to the onlooker. Unfortunately, the very fact that these symptoms are invisible can lead to misunderstandings,  false perceptions, and judgments.

Examples of Programs/Services/Outreach:

Focus Beyond Story Hour Program (Presented by Gao Yang-SPPL)

  • A Sensory-enhanced story hour with Focus Beyond students on a weekly basis.
  • Typically 4-8 students with 2-3 teachers and parprofessionals
  • 45-60 minutes long

Connecting with Teens

  • See the teen, not the disability
  • Speak directly to the teens
  • Be patient when waiting for a response (think about use of visuals and other means if verbal responses are difficult)
  • Maintain an open mind about what a teen can or cannot do.
  • Find interactive ways to engage with teens and make stories come alive in ways they can touch, see, taste, smell, and hear. (books, adapted books and stories (see also Unite for Literacy)-flannels, storigami are examples, movements, songs, sensory activities, also can find lots of ideas on Pinterest, arts and crafts activities
Helpful Tips
  • Form a relationship with the teacher and/or paras, they know their students well
  • Track your story plans, save what you did and rate how it went, can use ideas later with different classes, ideas of places to save: Evernote, GoogleDocs, etc. 

How to Select Read-Alouds
  • Look for high interest books that are shorter and simpler
  • Non-fiction books with great pictures

Image result for spiky slimy smooth  Actual Size

  • Picture books with a great story and short fiction stories

Tiny Hamster Is A Giant Monster The Wrong TrainHow Are You Peeling

  • Can be used to discuss science and other subjects/topics, emotions

Story Hour Example

  • Rhythm and Music
Hiccupotamus Bugtown BoogieGrandma's RecordsBawk & RollThe Duck Who Played the Kazoo

  • Books: Hiicupotamus: very fun with lots of opportunities for students to take part in the story. Fun noise effects. Had one of the assistants, Sharon, play the drum for a beat. Next time get xylophone for crocodile part.
  • Bugtown Boogie: Very fun with lots of opportunities for students to take part in the story. Fun noise effects.
  • Grandma's Records: Lengthier story but I liked it because it was diverse. It seemed that the students enjoyed the story too.
  • Bawk & Roll: Really funny.
  • The Duck Who Played the Kazoo: Very simple story but served as a nice segue to the craft activity. 

  • Hello song
  • Read Hiccopatmus
  • Read Bugtown Boogie
  • Activity: Talked about the next book: Grandma's Records. Showed and passed around an actual record (couldn't use the library's record player, but try to see if it would work next time.)
  • Read Grandma's Records (Next time go over the English lyrics of Grandma's song at the end of the book)
  • Activity: Listened to Grandma's song: En Mi Viejo San Juan (In My Old San Juan)
  • Read Bawk & Roll
  • Read The Duck Who Played the Kazoo: Before reading the book, I explained what a kazoo is and that we will be making one. As I read the story. I also used the kazoo to make sound effects. (Next time consider doing the activity first and let students blow the kazoo along with the story.) 
  • If there's still time play a song and kazoo together. 
  • Goodbye song, Kazoo. 

Gao also demonstrated how to make a book interactive. Listen to the Rain can be made interactive by having participants make wind noises with their mouths or by moving objects, rain, can be made by snapping, tapping and then doing this faster, thunder say "Boom Kaboom", do this as call and repeat and make noises throughout book. Good practice starting and stopping. 

Next Chapter Book Club (Presented by Joe Houlihan)

Next Chapter Book Club
  • About NCBC and its history
  • Meeting Overview: NCBC is about people getting together and enjoying each others' company and books. Beginning time is spent checking in, socializing, then read together from book, taking turns, assisting each other as needed/wanted, maybe finish about a chapter each time meet. We usually have between 4-10 members (including volunteers/staff). Have 1-2 (can be more) facilitators (can be combination of trained volunteers and staff).
  • About our members: Most of our current members are in their late teens to early 30's. Some are fluid readers, some may need/want assistance, some are non verbal but enjoy hearing stories and socializing. 
  • Our books: We offer books to choose from for the next session we'll meet. We find books that are either already Book Club in a Bag sets or that the selectors would be interested in creating a BCIB so we can have multiple copies. We look for books that are stories that can be enjoyed by the whole group, not too challenging a reading level, and not too long to get through in a couple of months. Books that we have read and will read can be seen here
  • Ideas for books: Hi-Lo Readers, Publishers, Capstone, Stone Arch Books, Saddleback, HIP Books, High Noon Books, Bellwether, Orca Book Publishers
  • Ways to help readers: Echo Reading-Facilitators read a difficult word and member repeats back or may read whole sentence to read back. Helps with learning words and fluency. Visuals may help members who are more visual thinkers or are non-verbal. You can create or find visuals. We found these for Mouse and the Motorcycle.
  • Partners: We partnered with the Highland Friendship Club, a non-profit, that organizes educational, social events for teens-adults with disabilities. They promoted our book club among their members. 
  • Why offer NCBC? Fun, easy, chance for people not always included in book clubs to have a chance to get together, hang out, and enjoy books together.
createch program banner
Partnering with Community Organizations:
  • Be clear about the time available, space, what your program can offer.
  • Be flexible when you can. If a visiting group needs a space to eat lunch or a snack before/after the program, can you help out? 
  • It can take time to set up partnerships. Celebrate small wins.
  • In the world of Disability Services, caregivers can change (PCA's, support staff) and this can make attendance spotty at times. Try to make sure that on the library's end you have backup for programs so the library can provide consistent service for when people can make it.
  • Partnering organizations' missions may not be exactly the same as the library's but there will likely be some similarities and it is important to have activities that help people connect with the community.
Strategies for Program Inclusion: Visuals (Renee Grassi-DCL)

Visual Timers
Image result for visual timersTime Timer Original 8 inch; 60 Minute Visual Analog Timer; Optional (On/Off) Alert; No Loud Ticking; Time Management Tool
  • Visual timers can help teens know when activities will start, end, when it is time to transition. 
Visual Choice Board
Image result for choice board

  • Choice boards can help teens see what options there are or a schedule for an activity. Como Zoo has created a Visual Schedule that can be used by visitors to their zoo. 
The Noun Project and other sources of visuals

Image result for noun project
  • The Noun Project is a visual database of icons that can be used as visuals. It has a free membership which allows use (have to cite sources) of icons. 

Program Schedules:

Image result for library program visual schedule pizza board game night

Image result for library program visual schedule pizza board game night

  • Some teens may benefit from knowing the schedule of an activity, what will happen, when it will start, end. Visuals and schedules can help decrease anxiety and help plan ahead. 
Strategies for Program Inclusion: Sensory Supports (Library can provide or allow teens/caregivers to bring)

Noise canceling headphones  (Can help teens who are sensitive to background or louder noises)

Image result for noise cancelling headphones
Essential Oils (Can help with calming, energy level)
Image result for essential oils

Fidgets (Can help teen to have something to hold on to and do with their hands to help with concentration, listening, sitting still, anxiety)
Image result for fidgets
 Weighted Blanket: Deep Pressure can help some teens better focus and participate in seated activities.
Image result for weighted lap blanket
Strategies for Program Inclusion: Seating (Different types of seating/supports can help teens better participate in seated activities, help with ability to stay in seat and focus)

Wobble Stools
Image result for wobble stools
Wedge Seat
Image result for wedge seat
Balance Cushions
Image result for balance cushions
Backjack Chair

Image result for backjack chair
Strategies for Program Inclusion: Apps
Book Creator Image result for book creator app
Idea: have teens write stories about their own life experiences.

Strip Designer Image result for strip designer app
Idea: Have teens create their own comic strip using photos they take

Quick CuesImage result for quick cues app
Idea: Offer an Ipad during programs and provide app to teens who need help coping or navigating social situations.

Tico TimerImage result for tico timer app
Idea: Offer a visual timer for teens participating in an activity in library programs.

Go Animate
Image result for goanimate
Idea: Have teens create their own videos about their favorite Banned Books.


DCL Partnership Program: AUSM Book Club

  • Monthly book club for individuals with autism, other disabilities, and neurotypical individuals 14+
  • Facilitated by ISD 196 Special Ed Reading/Language Arts teacher
  • Participants vote on monthly theme (themes include classic authors, mystery, adventure, fantasy, and sports
  • Librarian assists with book selection (can pick any book, audiobook, etc that fits within theme)
  • All reading levels and formats
  • Dakota County Library was able to start on their own with a grant, hoping to continue on their own and engage with schools.
Partnership Programs: School visits
  • DCL has done a visit with ISD 917  which is a special education setting. Provided an intro to the library via Powerpoint, set up classrooms so they could get library cards, right away, had a behind the scenes tour, were able to make bookmarks on the 3d printer that students could take with them.
  • DCL has partnered with MOFAS (Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). FAS presents similarly to autism in that it is spectrum disorder. MOFAS received a grant that allowed them to bring an afterschool group to the library for visits. DCL set up activities where teens worked on stop motion animation, 3-d printing, recording. DCL learned to be flexible to students' needs and interests and were able to connect with some students who weren't otherwise engaged by looking at their interests and connecting them to what they could do at the library. They were able to send out a visual schedule and other visuals ahead of time about how they were going to learn 3d printing basics and make a 3d printed fidget ring. 
Youth Development

  • What can libraries to do help teens develop life skills. DCL and Dakota County schools are looking at having a career development, strength assessment tool called "Tratify" which Renee recommended because it is very visual, has a lwo reading level, and provides a 90 second assessment about strengths and interests and looks at what teens can do to build strengths.

Inclusive Strategies for Summer Reading Teen Program and in general:
  • Reconsider the name
  • Provide flexibility within the program
  • Promote alterative formats
  • Think beyond reading
  • Offer options for prizes (mix "younger" and "older" books so not a stigma to take a younger book.
  • Plan training to teen volunteers and library staff to let them know the program is inclusive, make sure open to people who are older, so know they are always welcome (students receiving special ed services up to  age 21)
  • Consider offsite sign up
  • Leverage partnerships in promotion
  • Customize reading and learning experiences when can
  • Work with special ed teachers/programs to promote summer reading and other programs
  • Take the opportunity to ask for help, advice from community, schools, parents, organizations when have questions about how to best help. Think about how the library can connect people's needs to resources.
  • Get to know teens. When you know what they are doing in school, life, can help connect them to related resources. If it is class visit, if you know the class is going to take a boat ride, you could do something related to boats, or the river to help them get ready. 
If you would like to see handouts, resources lists, let me know. Erin Zolotukhin-Ridgway

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Minnesota Coalition of County Law Libraries Spring Education Workshop

Minnesota Coalition of County Law Libraries had its Spring Educational Workshop on April 27th.

Featured speakers were:
  • Carol Bros, Attorney, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
  • Virginia Kuberski, Forms Manager, Minnesota Judicial Branch
  • Liz, Reppe, Minnesota State  Law Librarian
  • Jennifer Stohl Powell, Attorney, Immigration Law Center of Minnesota
Below are the links to their presentations.  (As you download them, please note that some of the files are quite large.)

Immigration-Librarian Presentation, presented by Jennifer Stohl Powell
Divorce Overview, presented by Carol Bros
Using Free Sites to Locate People, presented by Liz Reppe
MCCLL and MN State Law Library_Spring Training_042718, presented by Virginia Kuberski. (Legal forms on the Minnesota state courts website. Note: "SRL = Self-Represented Litigant")

[pmb/glcl 5/17/18]

Monday, April 16, 2018

Library Technology Conference: Maker Presentations

Dakota County Library had two presentations about their makerspace, iLab, and maker programs: Virtual Reality in Practice and Tech in the Suburbs.

Virtual reality is hot in the news and in popular culture.

Uses for VR:

  • Aversion therapy
  • Treatment of PTSD
  • Creation of an intense group connection
  • Evoking a feeling of empathy- putting oneself in someone else's shoes
  • Combating memory loss
  • Virtual tours for people with disabilities - e.g. people with autism who are disoriented by new places
  • Immersive games
  • Virtual visits to other countries for genealogy or history

Dakota County decided not to go with immersive experience viewers such as the Vive or the Oculus Rift because of issues with expense and instant obsolescence. Instead, they went with Viewmaster- cheap, sturdy, easy to clean, can be used in a class with a bunch of kids. A smartphone or similar device is required. Dakota County asks patrons to bring their own, then has two iPod Touches for people without their own device.

Tips for virtual reality programs:

  • Do a short "body awareness" exercise before class to minimize disorientation.
  • Monitor patrons so they don’t bump into something .
  • Provide a disclaimer that VR is disorientating and to take a break if they experience discomfort.
  • Not every app will be compatible with every device.
  • Check the calibration settings for your device.

Currently, Dakota County only has a very basic "Exploring VR" class and sometimes has VR games when offering gaming programs. This summer, it will be more integrated into youth STEAM programs. Uses for virtual reality aren’t there for long programs yet. For Saint Paul Public Library, asking patrons to bring their own devices could be problematic, especially with youth.

VR resources:

Dakota County now has circulating 2Go! Kits for fitness, nature and maker activities, including 2 VR kits (smartphone not included). Kits are not request-able or renewable. Total cost was $2000 for 28 kits (2 copies of 14 kits). Tubs were purchased from Global industrial. Some items in the kits, such as a spindle for weaving and a lucet for braiding, were made using the 3D printer.

Maker programs at Dakota County Library:

  • Homeschool science series
  • Movie making for youth- kids work in pairs on in a small group to create a movie with iMovie, Legos, and a green screen.
  • Makey-Makey and Snap Circuits.
  • Coding - Scratch is free, Hour of Code has free activities.
  • Robotics- Local high school robotics team volunteers
  • Fashion battle - had a contestant from Project Runway mentor youth designers - asked for clothing donation from staff for kids to transform
  • T-shirt quilt - patrons brought their own t-shirts
  • DIY throw pillow
  • Lucet braiding
  • Bicycle maintenance
  • Preserving digital memories - got 40 people to come
  • NASA moon rocks - Have to pay for shipping, special storage, certification, and security guard if you publicize that moon rocks will be available.
  • Hedgehog made from a book.

Sources for makerspace donations/grants:

  • Local craft/hobbyist groups might be willing to donate equipment
  • Craft stores might give away an old sewing machine when they get the new ones
  • Local tech companies
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Big box stores have education grants
  • Local utility companies
  • DEMCO has a grant search

The presentation for Virtual Reality in Practice is here.

In other maker news, St. Louis Public Library shared what they learned about collaboration from their makerspace, Creative Experience. Beth Staats from Minitex shared some notes.

Macalester College also has a makerspace, the Idea Lab. that is very art- and textile-oriented, but also has two 3D printers and a large-format inkjet printer. Here are some pictures.

--Andrea @GLCL

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Library Technology Conference: MNSpin @Hennepin County Library

MNSpin is a place to listen to local music. Anyone can stream, but they can only download if they have a card registered in Hennepin County Library (this includes anyone with reciprocal borrowing in Minnesota). It was funded completely by the Friends of Hennepin County Library. There have been 14,000 streams from 12/2017 - 2/2018 and all 54 artists have been accessed. Only 10 libraries in the nation have similar resources.

This project took a lot of work, so they limit submissions to one cycle/year- otherwise too much for staff.

A lot of stakeholders meant a lot of communication needed to happen:
  • Community
  • Friends of the library
  • Musicians
  • Staff
  • Vendors -Madison, Wisconsin-based Rabble created the site.
The County attorney, library director and county administrator had to sign off on things -took more time than expected.

Steps for MNSpin prior to selection:
  • Named site - asked staff for input.
  • Created logo- applied for a trademark in MN.
  • Evaluated database products.
  • Communicated with staff about the project.
  • Reached out for ambassadors to publicize MNSpin - took months to create a relationship with ambassadors.
  • Identified public and staff curators- looking for intense genre interest and broad-based knowledge. 
  • Trained curators on database interface.

HCL reached out to organizations such as record stores, professional musician groups, music schools, instrument stores, and radio stations for ambassadors to publicize the project:

MNSpin selection criteria:

  • Have to live mostly in Minnesota.
  • Employees not eligible.
  • No artists under 15- age 15-17 parents need to sign.
  • Artist is responsible for securing rights to samples, covers, etc.
  • Diverse content that reflects the community, including possibly offensive content
  • Nothing older than 5 years -release date is required.

HCL will keep music for a minimum of 2 years. The artist still has copyright- can sign with a label.

MNSpin selection process:
  • Asked patrons to submit music by a particular date.
  • Asked ambassadors to promote via their networks.
  • Used staff to bring down to a manageable level before sending to community curators. 347 submissions is a lot to listen to. Staff rated on a scale of 1-5, then sent best to curators.
  • Used Excel to calculate aggregate scores. Curation took about a month and a half.
  • Asked curators for feedback on what worked and what didn't.

What they learned:
  • Get names, then get more names - start dropping them early and often.
  • Be persistent - people get busy 
  • You gotta have food!

Future plans:
  • Change rating system to 1-3, because no one wanted to give albums 1s or 5s
  • Add to library catalog - currently a separate site.
  • Add patron rating system.
  • Train curators just before they get into the database so it’s fresh for them

Looking at the site, my feeling is that their current selection process is biased towards middle-of-the-road genres due to the culling process and lack of curators in certain areas. This will probably be rectified as they add more curators and patrons weigh in. 

Also, they use the same broad subject headings as their CDs, so "Pop" would cover metal, punk, funk, ska, reggae, R & B, electronica, etc. More granular genres would be better when the musicians are not well-known. 

Presentation is here.

--Andrea @GLCL

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Library Technology Conference 2018: Highlights

These are the things I that stood out to me the most at the conference:

According to librarians at Purdue University, students have stated that "Twitter is for old people" so they don't use Twitter anymore. Facebook was reported as the most popular and commonly used social media platform. Purdue believes that teens initially left Facebook when parents or older adults started using Facebook; however, they discovered that those who left when they were teens, eventually started using Facebook again in college. Librarians at Purdue also mentioned that SnapChat is another great way to connect with students. Apparently, students are getting their news through SnapChat now. I thought this was kind of weird that they mentioned using SnapChat because it has become less favorable and less popular recently. Based from my observation and knowledge in recent social media trends, people are using SnapChat less, and are moving towards Instagram stories. Another topic we discussed was how to deal with inappropriate comments that are posted on library social media accounts. Purdue highly recommended deleting those posts; however, we need to have established a policy on commenting first. They gave an interesting example on how a library dealt with an inappropriate comment that was posted on their social media account. That particular library immediately deleted the comment, but it caused a huge problem because the person who posted that inappropriate comment sued the library and won! It was probably related to freedom of speech. The judge ordered the library to take a break from social media. Before they returned to social media again, and protect themselves from going through another similar incident, they decided to write up a policy on commenting for the public to be aware of.

In one of the other classes offered at this conference, they talked about the programs that they have made available for their patrons. At the George Latimer Central Library, we have a really nice  Canon DSLR camera that is rarely used by patrons. I thought that "light painting with a camera" activity was a great idea for Lab After Dark program but also to promote use of the DSLR camera. Another one was Spoonflower, which is a website where people can customize and design their own fabric, wallpaper, or gift wrap paper. This would be really good for people who enjoy sewing, or even small business owners. Speaking of sewing, I thought it was really cool how their library was able to bring in a former Project Runway competitor who also happened to be a Minnesotan. It would be nice to have someone with that kind of experience to come in but even for a well-funded suburb library, it got too expensive for them to continue.

--Duzong @GLCL

Monday, April 09, 2018

Library Technology Conference: Digital Preservation Day at the Library

Sara Ring and Lizzie Baus, Minitex

Minitex has a new program, Scan for Keeps- free loan to any organization in MN of digitization kits if you promise to have a program. 

Kits contain:
  • Scanner
  • Laptop-to capture metadata
  • Lightbox and camera - to capture 3D objects
  • Flash drives
  • Rulers
  • Pencils
  • Photoshop software for image editing
  • Paper forms -check-in, metadata, consent/release
 Pelican case for mobile digitization station.


Epson Perfection V850 scanner and laptop.

Preservation Week is 4/22 - 4/28 -plan well in advance before you decide to host a program. 

Ask yourself-what’s your goal?

  • Community engagement- Genealogy groups are a core audience. 
  • Collaborating with historical societies to get to know them 
  • Public education-teaching about preservation.
  • Programming related to preservation- could combine with talk on local history
  • Materials collection.

Tips for hosting a Digital Preservation Day at your library:

  • Promote in local newspaper
  • You will have to help patrons understand the importance of metadata-the won’t always be around to explain that it was Grandma at the old summer home in 1952.-who,what, where,when - a date range is OK. Ask patrons about stories related to the photo to trigger memories.
  • Have a metadata spreadsheet.
  • Teach them about storage - light, heat, moisture can damage
  • Check in station-form with short description of materials & contact info.
  • Wear gloves for delicate items. 
  • Staff should do the actual scanning. There is a cheat sheet for scanning in kit.
  • If they want to do further editing, e.g. improve the picture, leave it up to patrons.
  • Give out a brochure on digital preservation and what to do with the items after they go home.
  • Tell patrons to think about a naming scheme than makes sense for digital copies- Avoid spaces or special characters other than hyphens or underscores.
  • Minitex recommends saving images as TIFF files, because they retain a lot of information. Save images for patrons as JPEG as well, so they can share on social media.
  • Advise patrons to back up their treasures with multiple copies -3-2-1 rule -computer, CD/external hard drive, cloud storage.
  • Limit the amount of items each patron can scan.

A few words on pixels and image formats:

Pixels are building blocks of digital images -like an atom. How many blocks of pixels determines density of image-the bigger you can blow it up before it distorts. Bit depth = how many colors you are able to assign to each pixel. Minitex recommends saving images is 24-bit RGB TIFF - a large file, but retains a lot of information. RAW is a very huge unprocessed file that retains all information. JPEG is very lossy- you lose a lot of information.  

Minitex has best practices that include pixel density, size, and file formats for images and audio. 

Equipment list, staffing, forms and suggestions for collaborations are available here.

Reserve a kit via email:

Presentation is here.

--Andrea @GLCL

Opioid Crisis in Public Libraries

Libraries throughout the country find themselves reacting to the consequences of the opioid abuse epidemic. There have been overdose deaths in Hennepin County, so it is important that we prepare for what may come.

I was trained in administering Naloxone (AKA Narcan) and it is very easy - easier than an AED! If you don’t have Naloxone you should do rescue breathing but NOT chest compressions while waiting for EMTs. Sometimes you can’t tell if someone has overdosed or having a heart attack. We are not medical professionals so don’t feel you have to make that call. Always call 911. But if you see clear evidence or witnesses know the person is using opioids, this is helpful information. The Free Library of Philadelphia did inadvertently administer Naloxone to a heart attack victim last year. Good Samaritan laws protected them. It is generally recognized that there are no serious side effects of naloxone.

Context: In Minnesota there were 2074 nonfatal overdoses and 395 fatal overdoses in 2016. 2 deaths at Franklin Library in Minneapolis in January 2018.

Nationwide there has been a 30% overdose increase in 14 months from 2016-17

I attended the Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia, PA, which has been very heavily hit, especially at one of their branch libraries.

Here are my notes from the former librarian Chera Kowalski at the McPherson Square branch, and Joe Benford, Deputy Director of Customer Engagement:

McPherson Square branch in the Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia has been the epicenter with 1200 deaths last year. They tried taking ID for bathroom use, then time limits. They still saw needles in the bathrooms. Overdoses started to occur outside and inside the branch. In 2016 they had an overdose and emergency services were taking too long to respond, but they got Prevention Point to come to the library faster and reverse the overdose. After a bout of negative media attention, Narcan was approved. Librarians volunteered to be armed with the medication and saved 7 lives last year. They saw more overdoses in warmer weather. Security’s assistance was vital. When the city started sending police there was a decrease in overdoses in the park, but the overdoses moved to other parts in the neighborhood.

They offer training to any staff member who wants it as well as trauma and therapy for staff affected.

The library sits on a task force that has cleaned up an encampment with 100,000 used syringes. They had 1200 overdose deaths last year.

The Richland Public Library system in Columbia, SC is starting to see an increase in overdoses - 50 last year. They are starting support groups - NA and AA at their libraries. They are trying to keep ahead of the PR issues associated with the epidemic.

How to talk to the media about this? Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. Always tell the truth so you don’t get caught in a lie. Be honest, concise, be open. Know who to talk to and who not to talk to. Don’t say “no comment” instead say “I don’t know the answer and I’ll get back to you.” Or say “The safety and health of our patrons is our first concern.”

Denver Public Library - 200 overdoses last year which for them was not an increase. Seeing heroin mixed with amphetamine. They say that heroin in the west is powder, liquid on East Coast. Had 14 Narcan reversals last week.

Social worker perspective: What harm reduction strategies work for this crisis? Provide syringe access (instead of calling it needle exchange). Can you get people to switch substances they are abusing? When people feel safe, they tend to use fewer substances. What can libraries do? Be a safe place with nonjudgmental access to resources and information. Stigma and shame do not work.

Listen to Johann Hari’s TED talk - Everything you know about addiction is wrong. In his TED talk he states that the opposite of addiction is connection.

Middletown Ohio
200,000 patrons in their service area. 3 of the 10 worst cities for overdoses are in Ohio. (Read “The Opioid DiariesTime magazine issue). In 2017 Middletown spent 2.3 million on opioids; police spent 1.92 million which was a 50% increase.

966 overdoses
45,000 people in the city
The city councilperson was frustrated with the problem and became overwhelmed, was accused of saying “let addicts die”. There was negative news coverage. A Yahoo news reporter went so far as to feign dehydration and then asked EMS professionals for inside information while reporting on response times as related to delays caused by overdose calls.

They are now starting to see a decline in overdoses. After people are released from the hospital for overdose addicts are taken to rehab and given a social worker - this is the “heroin response team.” The teams use library meeting rooms for office hours.

Sharps containers - most of the libraries have them or are getting them. You can use a detergent bottle as an improvised device.

Check your safe and local laws regarding Narcan. Most libraries using nasal spray. Nasal spray will not hurt someone. Fentanyl misinformation is out there

Indiana county coroner is partnering with high school students to provide training.
Medical examiners, child protection, as well as local health nonprofits can help.


In Minnesota law enforcement officers have more restrictions than in other states, and more than civilians:
in order to obtain, possess and administer Naloxone, law enforcement (peace) officers and emergency medical responders need to be authorized to do so by a physician, APRN or PA. A standing order or protocol needs to be in place and the peace officer or EMR needs to have had training. Most likely the MD, PA or APRN will obtain the Naloxone and provide to the peace officer or EMR.

“(c) Nothing in this section prohibits the possession and administration of Naloxone pursuant to section 604A.04.
Subd. 2.
Authority to possess and administer opiate antagonists; release from liability.
(a) A person who is not a health care professional may possess or administer an opiate antagonist that is prescribed, dispensed, or distributed by a licensed health care professional pursuant to subdivision 3.
(b) A person who is not a health care professional who acts in good faith in administering an opiate antagonist to another person whom the person believes in good faith to be suffering a drug overdose is immune from criminal prosecution for the act and is not liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions resulting from the act.”


--Amanda @GLCL