For the third year, Berks County Public Libraries will join multiple counties across Pennsylvania in “A Summer Read.” The initiative, which runs May through September, provides the public with a collective read on a topic about health and wellness. This year’s selection, Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, is available to check out at all 23 locations.
The topic of the 2018 selection relates to Berks County’s own struggles following Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s Statewide Disaster Declaration on the heroin and opioid epidemic earlier this year. Written by Sam Quinones, Dreamland weaves together two riveting takes of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been a catastrophic opiate epidemic.
“The opiate epidemic is affecting many lives in our County,” said Stan Papademetriou, executive director for the Council on Chemical Abuse (COCA). “Over the past two years, there have been 242 lives lost in Berks County due to overdoses. A Summer Read focusing on the opioid epidemic is a great opportunity for us to have a healthy and timely conversation about the disease of addiction and the resources available in the community to address the problem.”
Berks County libraries are going beyond the pages, providing informative materials and educational programing to members of the community as part of the PA Forward initiative on Health Literacy. The Reading Public Library Northeast branch will hold a two-part event for teens titled “The Clear and Present Danger” about the current epidemic. The Robesonia Community Library will host a presentation from COCA for adults with a 15-minute question and answer session to follow. Programming across all library locations will be added to the Berks County Public Libraries website throughout the summer.
Copies of Dreamland are available on the countywide catalog and can be requested online or checked out at any Berks County Public Libraries location. Cardholders can also read the e-book version from their desktop, tablet, or mobile device.