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Chera Kowalski, 33, who works with teens and adults at McPherson Square library, holds naloxone. While other libraries practice fire drills, McPherson Branch has overdose drills.

The librarians at the Needle Park location in Kensington have had to learn how to administer Narcan to some people. This location is known for being surrounded by a neighborhood rampant with drugs and addicts. Many patrons to come to the library for refuge and to have a safe haven. This library has been such a thing for many patrons in the neighborhood. In the past, the library has not had to take care of such things, but then the heroin epidemic hit.

The library started doing overdose drills for the last thirty years, and until recently, having to rely on those skills did not happen very often. There have been four overdoses in the library since the epidemic spread, and thankfully, none of them have been fatal. Some people come to this location to do their drugs for the sake of having a safe, quiet place to do what they will. In one case, a man shot up while he was in the adult reading room, and when he slid to the floor, help was there to take care of him. Much of the same can be said about the man who passed out in the bathroom while gasping for air.

There is now a monitor system in the bathroom. Adults are required to leave a library card or some other form of ID at the front desk. People are limited to bathroom time for between three and five minutes. After that time frame, a guard will knock before coming in to check on anyone that might have disappeared into the room.

 

SHAMEFUL!

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