Why you should listen
Chera Kowalski is revolutionizing the way public resources are meeting the needs of the communities they serve. As the Adult Teen Librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s McPherson Square Branch, this often means saving lives.
After witnessing drug overdoses firsthand at her library and the nearby park, Kowalski volunteered to receive training in overdose defense through Prevention Point Philadelphia and now advocates for training for other librarians and community members to learn how to administer naloxone -- a life-saving drug that reverses the effects of opioids -- to people in distress. Motivated by her personal experiences as the daughter of parents who have maintained recovery from opioid use, Kowalski is transforming her library into a safe, responsive space for her community that is able to help people with whatever they need in a supportive, judgment-free way. Kowalski is a graduate of Temple University's College of Liberal Arts and the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences.