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In response to the growing opioid crisis in the United States, OCLC—a global library cooperative— and the Public Library Association (PLA) sought to better understand how public libraries are responding to the opioid crisis locally with partners. 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. The researchers, informed by the guidance of the project’s steering committee, reviewed factors to select the sites such as the demographics of the community, the opioid prescribing rate for the county, the rate of persons without health insurance, and whether the community had a shortage of mental or physical health workers. The final list of participating libraries is not expressly representative of all communities but is meant to be diverse and provide examples of programs and services that could be approached by libraries of all sizes and adapted to fit local capacity.


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