August 14, 2020

Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Crisis with Their Communities (Summary Report and Case Studies From OCLC Research)

From OCLC Research:

As the impact of the opioid epidemic is felt in communities across the US, public libraries are choosing to be part of the community response. With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, (project number LG-00-18-0298-18), and in partnership with the Public Library Association (PLA), OCLC is sharing knowledge and resources that will help public libraries and their community partners develop effective strategies to address the opioid epidemic in America.

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Eight public libraries and their respective community partners participated in this research study, which is based on interviews with library staff, library board members, staff at community partner organizations, and members of the community.

This research surfaced the following as major outcomes of the libraries’ response activities:

  • increased relevant resources made available to the community, such as naloxone and drug disposal kits
  • made a positive impact on patrons’ lives
  • increased community awareness and knowledge about the opioid crisis
  • began to address stigma about substance use disorder
  • increased positive perception of the library
  • developed new partnerships and expanded existing ones, resulting in coordinated efforts that better meet community needs
  • reached other libraries and community organizations

Report Resources

Report Authors

  • Scott G. Allen
    Public Library Association
  • Larra Clark
    Public Library Association
  • Michele Coleman
    Independent Researcher
  • Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D.
    OCLC
  • Chris Cyr Ph.D.
    OCLC
  • Kendra Morgan
    OCLC
  • Mercy Procaccini
    OCLC

Research-Based Case Studies 

  • Barrington Public Library
  • Blount County Public Library
  • Everett Public Library
  • Kalamazoo Public Library
  • New Orleans Public Library
  • Peoria Public Library
  • Salt Lake County Library
  • Twinsburg Public Library

See Also: Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Crisis in Collaboration with Their Communities: An Introduction (via Collaborative Librarianship; Vol. 11, No. 1)

See Also: OCLC Awarded IMLS Grant to Help Public Libraries, Partners Respond to Opioid Epidemic

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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