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Libraries Respond to the Opioid Epidemic: Agenda

Opioid Epidemic Symposium

Communities in Crisis:  Libraries Respond to the Opioid Epidemic
Friday, November 15, 2019 at the Devens Common Center, Devens, MA

Register now!

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System invite you to attend a symposium to learn more about the opioid epidemic and how librarians can respond.  Presentations will explore the neurobiological basis of addiction, workplace safety, and responding to stressful situations.  The Symposium will feature Ignite Talks from Massachusetts librarians.  You'll have the opportunity to network with exhibitors from substance use disorder, mental health, emergency response, and public health organizations. We'll wrap up the day with a moderated discussion of actionable next steps.  This Symposium is free of charge and is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through LSTA funds.  Following the Symposium, participants can apply for mini-grants funded by the MBLC to offer a staff training, host a program, expand a collection, or develop a service to increase social infrastructure.


9:00 am

Registration, Coffee, & Meet with Exhibitors

9:30 am Welcoming Remarks
9:45 am

A Library of Congress Approach to Understanding the Addicted Brain

Dr. Scott Lukas, Director of the McLean Imaging Center, the Behavioral Psychopharmacological Research Laboratory, and the McLean Sleep Diagnostic and Treatment Laboratory at McLean Hospital & Professor of Psychiatry (Pharmacology) at Harvard Medical School

10:30 am

Encounters and Revelations:  A Reporter's Journey Covering the Opioid Crisis

Felice Freyer, Health Care Reporter, The Boston Globe

11:05 am


11:20 am

Opioids and Work: The Role of Workplace Injury and Pain in Fueling the Opioid Epidemic in Massachusetts

Jodi Sugerman-Brozan, Executive Director, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety

11:55 am

Skills to Respond to High Stress Situations

April Berry Fletcher, LICSW, EdD


12:30 PM

Lunch & Connect with Exhibitors

1:15 PM Briefing from Marian Ryan, Middlesex County District Attorney
1:30 PM Ignite Talks 
2:30 PM

Discussion on actionable next steps for librarians to respond to the opioid epidemic 

Moderated by Keith West, Debate Coach, Boston Latin with roundtable facilitators from the Massachusetts Library Association's Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibilities Committee, MBLC staff, and MLS staff

3:30 PM Symposium Wrap-Up and Mini-Grant Announcement

Live Tweets

Tweeting the program? 


Symposium Co-Chairs

  • Michelle Eberle, MLS
  • Shelley Quezada, MBLC

Thank you to our Symposium Advisors!


  • Clayton Cheever, Thomas Crane Public Library
  • Christina Connolly, Worcester Public Library
  • Susan Halpin, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region

This symposium contributes to the MBLC and MLS strategic plans as well as aligns MBLC and MLS services.

This Symposium is free of charge and made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through LSTA funds.