Frontline Experts Share Policy and Safety Information During OLC’s Opioid Symposium

opioid symposium photo

Nick Tepe, Chair of the OLC Board of Directors, talks with a local reporter about how public libraries are responding to the opioid crisis.

More than 170 people attended the OLC’s Opioid Symposium on Tues., April 3 in Columbus. Dr. Mark Hurst, Medical Director, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addictions Services, kicked off the event with an in-depth and candid discussion of the heroin and opioid epidemic in Ohio. He was followed by legal experts Robin Amicon and Nelson Cary, from Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease, LLC, who covered important liability and policy considerations including having Naloxone (Narcan) available for use by staff and obtaining the library board’s approval on written policies.

The event also included a panel discussion on how to handle unknown substances in the library, what to look out for, and what to do in the event of an overdose. Attendees had the opportunity to view actual drug samples from previous cases handled by the Chillicothe Police Department.

A drug display from the Chillicothe Police Department showed attendees different types of substances and common paraphernalia found in Ohio.

The afternoon sessions focused on resources available to public libraries and how to engage the entire community with library programs and partnerships with local organizations.


Community panel photo

(From left) Meg Delaney, Main Library Manager, Toledo Lucas County Public Library; Rachelle Miller, Director, Troy-Miami County Public Library; and Paige Williams, Director, Portsmouth Public Library System shared a variety of programming ideas and ways to partner with local organizations and first responders.