ABC-CLIO

Library Services to the Incarcerated

Applying the Public Library Model in Correctional Facility Libraries

by Sheila Clark, Erica MacCreaigh

 

Learn how to provide exemplary service to incarcerated individuals in prisons, jails, and youth detention centers.

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Cover image for Library Services to the Incarcerated

August 2006

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 264
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Adult Services and Programs/General

Learn how to provide exemplary library service to individuals in prison or jail, by applying the public library model when working with inmate populations. These authors, a jail librarian and an outreach librarian, offer a wealth of insights and ideas, answering questions about facilities and equipment, collection development, services and programming; computers and the Internet; managing human resources, including volunteers and inmate workers; budgeting and funding; and advocacy within the facility and in the community. The approach is practical and down-to-earth, with numerous examples and anecdotes to illustrate concepts.

More than 2 million adults are serving time in correctional facilities, and hundreds of thousands of youth are in juvenile detention centers. There are more than 1,300 prisons and jails in the United States, and about a third as many juvenile detention centers. Inmates, as much or more than the general population, need information and library services. They represent one of the most challenging and most grateful populations you, as a librarian, can work with. This book is intended to aid librarians whose responsibilities include serving the incarcerated, either as full-time jail or prison librarians, or as public librarians who provide outreach services to correctional facilities. It is also of interest to library school students considering careers in prison librarianship. The authors, a jail librarian and an outreach librarian, show how you can apply the public library model to inmate populations, and provide exemplary library service. They offer a wealth of ideas, answering questions about facilities and equipment, collection development, services and programming; computers and the Internet; managing human resources, including volunteers and inmate workers; budgeting and funding; and advocacy within the facility and in the community. The approach is practical and down-to-earth, with numerous examples and anecdotes to illustrate ideas.

Reviews/Endorsements

Reviews

"Library Services to the Incarcerated: Applying the Public Library Model in Correctional Facility Libraries should be of interest not only to prison librarians, but also to public libraians who deal with ex-offenders and with the population as a whole since this book deals with issues that have broader public implications. In addition, the book is truly entertaining, informational, and inspirational as it shows how prison librarians honor ALA's highest ideals while abiding by the correctional facility rules....The descriptive nature of the book makes it a wonderful resource for anyone considering working in a prison....While working with the incarcerated does seem challenging, the practical, down-to-earth tone of the book does successfully sell this career path to those who desire an interesting and varied work day."—Colorado Association of Libraries

"It is not strictly a how-to manual. The conceptual back-story is full of energy, passion and conviction. It's about ethics and integrity, about being true to libraries and librarianship. The authors confront the most important ethical question of all--access....This book could help correctional administrators to appreciate the value of the library, recognize the value added to the culture of the facility by library programs, and support the enthusiasm of a librarian's effort to get to yes."—The Corrections Professional

"The authors....[o]ffer a down-to-earth approach to their subject, providing an enlightening view of the correctional library environment by discussing not just the library, but the incarceration system as a whole. Librarians can achieve excellence in service by applying the public library model to the jail or prison environment, placing an emphasis on equitable access for all. The book is an interesting and informative commentary on the world of the correctional library, and, with its anecdotes and wise counsel, it is not only practical and useful, it is also entertaining....This book is an informative and valuable resource for any librarian who may find him or herself working in a correctional facility, or who may be contemplating a career move to this field. It offers a wealth of helpful advice on how to succeed in the prison environment, and the authors' realistic approach and inclusion of ample illustrations make it especially appealing."—Journal of Access Services

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