October 26, 2018
Soon, all U.S. public libraries will have Narcan
by Stephanie Valente
In a new move to combat the ongoing opioid crisis, libraries are going to step up to the plate.
As reported in multiple media outlets, including Time, Emergent BioSolutions will provide a free kit including two doses of the nasal spray and instructional materials to public libraries in the United States. And, it’s a lot of libraries. There are 16,568 public libraries in the U.S. and every location will receive Narcan. That’s not all. Approximately 2,700 YMCA locations will also receive kits.
This new development was built upon the Narcan in Schools program, in which Emergent BioSolutions already provides U.S. high schools with four free doses. An initiative like this one doesn’t stop at the secondary education level, the company also donates up to eight doses to higher learning institutions as well.
From this new direction, now libraries will also be life-savers. Michelle Jeske, Denver Public Library city librarian and member of the Public Library Association board of directors, said in American Libraries Magazine: “These things can and do happen at libraries because libraries are very public places.” She went on to add that the drug was administered 14 times in the last year by the Denver Public Library. Denver isn’t the only city battling an opioid epidemic. Judi Moore, the McPherson Square Library Branch Head in Philadelphia mentioned in Public Libraries Online that one staff member administered Narcan six times in the last year alone.
Libraries have long been institutions that shape lives for the better by strengthening literacy and fostering a sense of community. Now, libraries are taking it a step further. They’re saving lives and becoming support systems in communities across the nation.
Stephanie Valente is the Digital Marketing Manager at Melville House.