May 16, 2022

Public Libraries: “For These Philly Librarians, Drug Tourists and Overdose Drills are Part of the Job”

From Column by Mike Newall:

I visited the century-old library that sits atop Needle Park in Kensington because I’d heard its staff was the first in the city to learn how to administer the lifesaving overdose antidote Narcan.


For nearly 30 years, Judi Moore has worked as branch manager and children’s librarian at McPherson, which serves the drug-ravaged neighborhood around Kensington and Indiana Avenues. Her desk offers a gunpoint vantage.

Until last year, she recalls just one overdose in the library. Then heroin exploded. Since then, there have four overdoses in her building. None has been fatal.


While other libraries practice fire drills, McPherson began overdose drills:

Who stays with the victim? Who calls 911? Who ushers out the kids? Who waits for an ambulance?

Read the Complete Article

See Also: New York: Overdose at the Rochester Public library: Should Workers be Trained to use Heroin Antidote?

See Also: Colorado: An “Unprecedented Rise in Security-Related Incidents and Illegal Behavior” at Denver’s Central Library

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.