NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Wednesday July 18th 2018

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Letter to the Editor Progress and Vigilance

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Alley Newspaper asked Lindsey Fenner, East Phillips resident, HN County Library worker and AFSME Local 2822 for any updates within the library system since she wrote an article in the FEBRUARY 2018 issue of The Alley. Here is what Linsey offered.]

LINDSEY FENNER

There are plans developing for overdose training (not Narcan administration, but more general) for staff at three of the most impacted libraries (including Franklin). Franklin and two more libraries will be added to the pilot sharps container list.

We have a labor/management meeting the end of February to discuss what training would look like, and hopefully get the answers to the questions we had asked at the last meeting about what the actual policy, procedures, and training are for sharps and bloodborne pathogens for all of the workers in the library. (Apparently there is often a lot of blood in the bathrooms from injection accidents. On their own initiative, frontline library workers have been educating janitorial staff on the importance of wearing gloves and being cautious when changing the trash.”

So some progress! I don’t know if it was the article or the increase in incidents or both. It sounds like there is starting to be more proactive movement in the county as a whole. Vigilance around this issue will still be important.

It is complicated. And it’s one of those problems that’s too big to neatly fix. I wish we had better drug policy and support in this county. I wish we had safe injection sites. I know it’s terrible for library staff, but I wish people would inject drugs at Franklin library instead of behind my garage because they would probably have a better chance of surviving an overdose. I can’t control most of these things, but I’ll use what little bit of power I have where I can.

Native American Community Clinic went to Franklin Library in February and gave a training to library staff.

As Wendell Phillips said, “We came into this world to give truth a little jog onward and to help our neighbor’s rights.”

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