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The trustees speak with Tapestry's Sarah DeJesus and Samantha Kendall on how to deter and address drug users in the library.

North Adams Library Taking New Measures to Prevent Drug Use Inside

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The library will start locking the main bathroom doors and will install sharps disposal containers to deter drug use and discarded used needles in the facility.
 
The trustees met with Sarah DeJesus and Samantha Kendall of Tapestry Health on Wednesday to discuss different options in regard to combating drug use and overdoses in the library.
 
"It is not a daily thing but I think the staff wants to be more proactive and helpful," Library Director Mindy Hackner said. "We want to help the community get over this kind of problem without shaming." 
 
The library has had a number of incidents and at least two people were given warnings and another a no-trespass order. The staff has had some training with the police chief but the library, like many across the country, is trying to maintain its mission as being open to serve the public while dealing with an opioid epidemic it's not designed to handle. 
 
DeJesus said one of the more passive options would be to install a sharps dispensary disposal unit in the bathrooms that Tapestry would maintain. Tapestry, on West Main Street, operates North County's only needle exchange.
 
"We have installed them in other places and people tend to use them," she said. "We check on them periodically."
 
She said although this does typically decrease the number of sharps found astray in the bathrooms, it can come off as inviting.
 
"It is kind of a fine line because there are times when it gives the appearance of being a place where it is OK to use," she said. "I think for us, we know people are going to use drugs so we are always looking for the safer option and sharps are always safer in a container than on the floor."
 
Hackner said this was a fear of hers and the staff but noted the staff wants to extend help to those in need and went as far as to place the numbers of different counseling services in the bathrooms.
 
Trustee Don Pecor asked if it would be beneficial to train staff in administering Narcan and DeJesus said this, too, is an option.
 
Hackner said she has broached this subject with the chief of police, who didn’t think it was completely necessary. She added that she did not think the staff would have an interest in this and noted that with the police and fire station are in such close proximity, she did not see the need.
 
"We are so close. We did have one overdose here and before I even knew what happened we had six EMTs and several police officers here," she said.
 
The trustees asked if other libraries locked their bathroom doors and Kendall said she believed this was a practice in another city.
 
DeJesus added that it would allow staff to monitor the bathrooms, however, would make more work for the staff.
 
"I think locking the bathroom is your best proactive approach but it does add one more thing for staff to keep track of," she said. "Like who has the key, how long have they been in there, and at one point do you check on them."
 
The trustees agreed they would install a sharps container only in the primary main-floor bathrooms and experiment with locking the doors.
 
"We are more concerned with helping people and just knowing Tapestry is there gives the staff a tremendous boost," Hackner said.
 
They did not take a vote because the decision was not on the agenda but planned to next meeting.
 
DeJesus said Tapestry was happy to work with the library.
 
"We know people use drugs and unfortunately that is not stopping today, or next month, or next year so our goal is to keep people safe and alive while they are in that chaos," she said. "We want to help people get into treatment."

Tags: drug abuse,   NAPL,   opiods,   

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North Adams Happenings: Oct. 23-29

SAVE THE DATE
NOVEMBER 2nd - Masquerade at Greylock WORKS
On November 2nd, three weeks before FESTIVE, come to gWorks to dance in disguise at our MASQUERADE Halloween costume party! Doors open at 8pm !
Celebrate your costume ingenuity with DJ BFG spinning seamless upbeat dance music within immersive theatrical lighting choreographed by LJ McZawa.
Whether you're coming out in a dramatic mask + your favorite party clothes or a full-body transformation, our local friends are joining in on the fun to motivate your creativity with Costume Themes and PRIZES.
https://www.facebook.com/events/406993753316580/
Wednesday 10/23
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Terrific Tots Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.  


10:30 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Parenting Workshop: Surviving your Adolescents nbCC Conference Room, 61 Main Street, Room 213, (413) 663-7588 More information.  


11:30 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Little Wonders Baby Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information. 

4:00 P.M. (FREE), FAMILY, Family Literacy Night Series The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.  


6:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, Educator Open House North Adams Public Library, 64 Church Street, More information.

8:00 P.M. (FREE), GAMES, Trivia Night! Ramunto's, 67 Main Street, (413) 398-5152 More information.

Thursday 10/24
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Kids Safety of America: Child Abuse and Neglect nbCC’s Conference Room, 61 Main Street, Room 213 More information.

4:00 P.M. (FREE), TUTORING, After School Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

4:30 P.M. (FREE), CONVERSATION, Spaghetti Supper with Tom Bernard North Adams American Legion, 91 American Legion Drive More information.

4:30 P.M. (FREE), FAMILY, Dad and Family Time- Bowling and Pizza Night Valley Park Bowling, Curran Highway More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Octoberfest in The Airport Rooms TOURISTS Welcome, 915 State Road More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), BIKING, Halloween West End Bike Around Greylock School, 100 Phelps Ave More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), OPEN MIC, OPEN MIC The Parlor Cafe, 303 Ashland Street More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), INFORMATIONAL, Milton Hershey School Family Event: North Adams, MA Freight Yard Pub & Restaurant, 1 Furnace Street More information.

7:30 P.M. (FREE), WRITING, Fiction Writing Workshop [open house] Common Folk, 85 Main Street More information.

7:30 P.M. (FREE), BINGO, Musical Bingo at Mingo's Sports Bar and Grill 41 Roberts Drive More information.

8:00 P.M. ($15), COMEDY, Comedy Night w/ Andy Sandford HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.
Friday 10/25
10:30 A.M. (FREE), CONVERSATION, Coffee with a Cop MCLA Campus Center, 375 Church Street More information.

10:30 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Ages and Stages The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Drop-In Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.

12:00 P.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

7:00 P.M. (FREE), MOVIES, Halloween cartoon movie night MCLA Freel Library, Blackinton Street More information.

7:00 P.M. (By Donation), CRAFTING, Knitting Nights with Common Folk Common Folk, 73 Main Street More information.

7:00 P.M. ($1 and up), GAMES, BINGO! North Adams Elks 487 Lodge, 100 Eagle Street, (413) 664-9039 More information.

7:00 P.M. ($12 adv, $15 at the door), CONCERT, Gregory Douglass LIVE at HiLo North Adams HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

9:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Karaoke Friday! State Street Tavern, 167 State Street, (413) 664-9152 More information.
Saturday 10/26
9:00 A.M. (FREE), CLOTHING DRIVE, Winter Clothing Drive First Baptist Church of North Adams, 131 Main Street More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), GARDENING, Gardening Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

12:30 P.M. (Child $5, Adults $8, Family $25), FUNDRAISER, AYJ Fund Children's Princess Concert MCLA Church St Center, 375 Church Street More information.

3:00 P.M. (Cost of Admission), ART, Opening Reception: Sarah Oppenheimer, Jenny Holzer, and ERRE MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), CONCERT, Fall Foliage Sunset Serenade - Jessica Gregory Wilson Wigwam Western Summit, 2350 Mohawk Trail More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

8:00 P.M. ($12 adv, $15 at the door), CONCERT, Misty Blues HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices Vary, see link for details), CONCERT, Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller’s Parlour Game MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.
Sunday 10/27
2:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

7:00 P.M. ($20 adv, $25 day of), CONCERT, Jeffrey Foucault HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.
Monday 10/28
5:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, ROOTS Volunteer Training ROOTS Teen Center, 43 Eagle Street More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), BIKING, nbCC Bike Collective The Armory, 206 Ashland Street More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, Communications Career Panel Bowman Hall - MCLA, 375 Church Street More information.
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