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Harm Reduction Programs at the Library this Summer

This June and July, join Buncombe County libraries to learn about the evidence-driven practices and public health policies helping our community navigate crises.

On  June 5 (HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day), Buncombe County Special Collections will host a panel discussion on the history of harm reduction in Western North Carolina.

The following month, the library’s Books to Action Book Club will hold two events focused on the opioid crisis: an action event on July 2 and an online book discussion on July 10.

What: The History of Harm Reduction in Western NC
When: Wednesday, June 5 from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Where: Lord Auditorium, Pack Memorial Library

During the early years of the AIDS epidemic in Asheville, a small group of dedicated volunteers came together to care for people with AIDS-related illnesses. Soon after, they added prevention education and harm reduction services to their repertoire, including a syringe exchange program. Now recognized by the CDC, WHO, and other professional organizations as an important public health strategy, syringe exchange programs were illegal in North Carolina until 2016.

This panel, moderated by scholar Abigail K. Stephens, will feature speakers Michael Harney, Lacy Hoyle, and Amy Upham to discuss the early days of the Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) and the Needle Exchange Program of Asheville (NEPA), and how that history has shaped today's public health efforts.

Advance registration is encouraged for this free event. Learn more about the speakers and register here.

What: Books to Action – The Action Event
When: Tuesday, July 2 from 5:15-8 p.m.
Where: Lord Auditorium, Pack Memorial Library

The Books to Action Book Club will meet with Buncombe County Health and Human Services staff for a presentation on harm reduction and overdose reversal, followed by a discussion panel led by speakers with lived experience in opioid addiction.

Advance registration is required. Learn more and register here.

What: Books to Action – The Book Discussion
When: Wednesday, July 10 from 6-7 p.m.
Where: Virtual event, via Zoom

We will be discussing Dopesick by Beth Macy. Journalist Beth Macy's definitive account of America's opioid epidemic "masterfully interlaces stories of communities in crisis with dark histories of corporate greed and regulatory indifference" (New York Times) – from the boardroom to the courtroom and into the living rooms of Americans. 

Advance registration is required. Learn more and register here.

Please call (828) 250-4700 if you would like help putting a hold on a library copy of this book. We also plan to send some supplemental suggested resources (news articles, podcasts, etc.) to our registrants to help round out the reading.

Books to Action is a book club coordinated by Buncombe County Public Libraries that explores nonfiction books centered on key issues facing our community. The book discussions take place in conjunction with a community service project, educational field trip, or presentations from local experts.

Table: News Item Documents
File NameSizeTypeDate & Time Added
Harm Reduction Flyer 2 MB 05/23/2024 1:31 PM
Books to Action Flyer 222 KB 05/23/2024 1:31 PM

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Updated May 24, 2024 03:13 PM
Published May 23, 2024 11:43 AM

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