Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Library Services to the Incarcerated: Applying the Public Library Model in Correctional Facility Libraries

For being kind of a heavy topic, this book managed to be super informative, intriguing, humorous at times (definitely helped with the tone of the book), and downright inspiring. I loved it! This is a great book to read if you're considering working in a prison library. While I don't want that to be my sole job (I love being a teen librarian!) I would like to offer book talks/programs/book-carts to the local county jail instead of just to the juvenile detention facility. The authors are right, it's a unique opportunity to help out one of the most underserved populations in the county! I would rather my tax dollars go to help inmates get back on their feet and become better educated and informed citizens then having them get back into the real world and recommit all their crimes. Libraries can help out prisoners in their time of need and vastly change their lives on the inside so that when they go back outside they have a new perspective, they know they're not worthless and they're not alone. Studies have shown that one in every fifteen Americans will go to jail or prison at least once in their lives. That's a pretty high figure! While you can't help or reform everyone behind bars, you can give them an opportunity. Sometimes the smallest thing, a book, can make all the difference!

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