Diane Walden has worked in corrections librarianship since 1994, as a librarian, manager and consultant. She has been at the Colorado State Library since 2004.
Diane knew she wanted to be a prison librarian from the moment she decided to go to grad school for her MLS. Professors and supervisors talked her out of it, so she focused on medical and technical librarianship…until a year after graduation, when a sudden move to Florida opened up a whole new world. As an employee of the Florida Department of Corrections, a Guardian ad Litem volunteer who represented the needs of children in the court system, and a certified literacy tutor, Diane was empowered to save the world, one reader at a time. She’s still working at it.
Diane's publications include:
- "Breaking the Cycle: Prison Reading Program Encourages Literacy," Colorado Libraries, Volume 30 Number 4 Winter 2004
- Prisoners’ Right to Read: An Interpretation of The Library Bill of Rights, adopted by ALA June 2010 [catalyst and co-author]
Diane has been awarded:
- Library Journal Mover & Shaker (2011)
- ASCLA Leadership & Professional Achievement Award (2011)
Camden Tadhg joined the Institutional Library Development (ILD) team in November 2010. Camden is a consultant for libraries in youth correctional facilities, veterans’ nursing homes, and mental health institutions. He also coordinates the acquisition of new and donated materials for over 40 state-operated institutional libraries.
Except for a short stint at a copy shop, Camden has been working in libraries for most of his adult life including positions in academic acquisitions, consortial lending, and cataloging. His most recent position was as Teen Central Librarian at Hennepin County Library. Most recently, he is serving as an adjunct professor for the University of Denver’s MLIS program, instructing a course on YA materials and services.Correctional librarianship has been his dream for many years. Camden is excessively enthusiastic about libraries and at-risk youth; he can’t wait to bring that enthusiasm to an institutional library near you!
- “Bending circuits and making music: Teen Tech Week in downtown Minneapolis” Young Adult Library Services 8.2 (Winter 2010): 20-22.
Renée Robbins happened upon the field of correctional librarianship in 2005 while searching for a job. She began working as a library technician in a correctional facility and hasn’t considered working with any other population since. Since 2005, she has facilitated book groups, created summer and winter reading programs, and taught Spanish and cognitive behavior change classes to offender in addition to providing other library services to offenders at three different correctional facilities. These opportunities to serve and impact those who may not have seen the library as relevant to their lives fueled her desire to pursue a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science and a promotion to librarian.
Renée began working as an Institutional Libraries Senior Consultant in March 2013. She wants to leave the world a better place than when she found it and believes her work with institutional libraries allows her to do just that.
Steve Bennett joined the Institutional Library Development (ILD) team in March 2013 as a consultant for libraries in adult correctional facilities. He comes to this position after working as a solo librarian with the Illinois Department of Corrections. In addition to corrections librarianship, he has worked in a wide variety of library settings, including academic, public, corporate and school libraries. He also had a brief stint as a librarian with the Special Services unit (i.e., Talking Books Library) of the West Virginia Library Commission providing information resources to patrons with visual impairments.
Steve is drawn to correctional librarianship because it is equally challenging and rewarding. He believes strongly in the purpose of libraries – they have been a vital influence in his life – and he feels passionately that institutionalized populations should have access to quality public library-type collections, programs and services provided by trained staff. Steve has seen the power that libraries can have in offenders’ lives and is very enthusiastic about his role in expanding information and opportunities for these special patrons.