Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March, 2018

Overdue or overdose: A librarian's dilemma

Those who thought the digital age would signal the death of libraries seriously underestimated the versatility of librarians.  Libraries have been diligent in re-purposing themselves from their traditional role to providing computer access and trainings to becoming a home for writing groups, speakers and clubs.  And now it seems that a librarian's role is being stretched a bit further.

   Those of us who live in small-town America may be oblivious to challenges faced by inner-city libraries, but a recent article by Annie Correal in the New York Times highlights the issue:  drug users are finding libraries a convenient place to hang out, shoot up and sometimes--unfortunately-- overdose.  In many places around the country, librarians are being trained on the use of Narcan, the brand name of naloxone, which is used to reverse overdoses.  Responses are mixed:  some are reluctant to get trained, citing their lack of medical background and issues of liability while others take on the…

The Language of Addiction ... A Family Disease? Think again!

In his play Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare poses the question:  "What's in a name?"  He muses on the question by saying,  "That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."

Well, I get the point... sort of, but I'm not sure I agree.  I bet if we called a rose a "stink blossom", or a "wailing tooth ache bud", it may not smell quite as sweet.  Why?  Because words have connotations as well as meanings and those connotations are what shape our perceptions.

This is not a novel idea.  People change the name of things to change the perception of things.  We've seen it happen time and time again.  Janitors became custodians, garbage men became sanitation workers, stewardesses became flight attendants and store clerks became associates.  What was behind all these name changes?  An attempt to provide dignity to positions, to wipe away old associations and start anew.

And so it is with the language used to describe addiction as…