SEP 12

Opioid Crisis Town Hall: Library Needs and Responses

WebJunction and PLA invites libraries and their community partners to join this virtual town hall discussion about current library needs and possible responses to the nation's opioid crisis.

This event has passed.

Over two million people in the US are estimated to be dependent on prescription opioids or heroin. A sharp rise in drug overdoses has made it the leading cause of death among Americans under 50. This epidemic is happening in all regions of the country, in communities of all sizes, without discrimination for age, ethnicity, or income. As library staff see this crisis impacting their own communities, their urgent question arises: How do we respond?

Join us for a virtual town hall, where representatives from libraries and other community organizations will describe their local efforts and who they’re collaborating with. We also want to hear from you: We’ll ask audience participants to describe the informational, structural, financial and emotional support that library staff and community members need to withstand and address this alarming epidemic. The insights gleaned from this town hall were used to inform plans for future efforts. (See project page:

This event was jointly organized by WebJunction and Public Library Association.

Panelist include:

  • Vanessa Christman, Assistant Director at the Santa Barbara Public Library, most recently County Librarian/Director of Library Services, Humboldt County (CA)
  • Kim Fender, Director, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (OH)
  • Rachel Fewell, Central Library Administrator, Denver Public Library (CO)
  • Shawn Cunningham, Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives, Multnomah County Library (OR)
  • Hadi Sedigh, Associate Legislative Director for Justice & Public Safety, National Association of Counties, and liaison to the National City-County Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic
  • Dana Murguía, Senior Program Manager, Public Health, Healthy Communities, Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (CA)

Access Recording

Town Hall Attachments

Related Resources and Links


12 September 2017


2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Eastern Daylight Time, North America [UTC -4]