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Libraries Respond to the Opioid Epidemic: Agenda

This guide includes presentations and resources from the Symposium, Communities in Crisis: Librarians Respond to the Opioid Epidemic. #masslibrariesrespond

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


The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System invite you to explore the resource guide from our symposium to learn more about the opioid epidemic and how librarians can respond.  Presentations at the symposium explored the neurobiological basis of addiction, workplace safety, and responding to stressful situations.  The Symposium featured Ignite Talks from Massachusetts librarians.  At the Symposium, participants had the opportunity to network with exhibitors from substance use disorder, mental health, emergency response, and public health organizations. We wrapped up the day with a moderated discussion of actionable next steps.  The Symposium was free of charge and 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.   #MassLibrariesRespond



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

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.