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Checking out: Drug users take advantage of public libraries

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PAULA FRIEDRICH
/
Michigan Radio

Librarians are finding themselves face to face with the heroin and opioid epidemic as drug users take advantage of free access to quiet areas where people often keep to themselves.

The library director in Ann Arbor, Michigan, says the open-access environment can make public libraries susceptible to misuse.

In the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, a man fatally overdosed in a locked library restroom in April. Officials say his body might have been there for days, overlooked by a now-fired security contractor.

In Eureka, California, one librarian revived an unresponsive man by injecting him with an overdose antidote.

The American Library Association encourages librarians to get training on interacting with groups such as drug users and to partner with police and social workers.

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