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Learn more about correctional librarianship
ILD's Correctional Library Training
These short videos are designed to introduce key concepts to correctional library staff.
Information literacy is a set of abilities that allows an individual to navigate our complex world. Library staff serving people in prison or jail teach the incarcerated these essential life skills that reduce recidivism and make success possible.
Intellectual freedom is at the heart of a free society, and nowhere is it more important or difficult to defend than in a prison or jail library. Censorship of materials for the incarcerated is intended to support safety and security and comes with certain legal and ethical limits.
All libraries hold regular events to meet unique community needs, and prison and jail libraries are no exception. For the incarcerated who struggle with literacy, programs go beyond books to teach them that a library can be a sage place to practice life skills that reduce recidivism.
American Library Association
ASCGLA – Association of Specialized, Government and Cooperative Library Agencies
- Library Services to the Incarcerated and Detained interest group
ODLOS – Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services
Correctional libraries face many of the same issues as rural and small libraries:
- Solo professional or paraprofessional staff
- A single library to serve a diverse patron (education level, literacy, interest, age, ability, etc.)
- Small budgets
In addition to the national organization, chapters are active in about 25 states. Call 800-222-5646, ext. 0129 to see if a chapter provides local professional activities in your state.
Prisonfirstname.lastname@example.org For information and to subscribe, go to lists.ala.org/sympa.
Yalsaemail@example.com For information and to subscribe, go to lists.ala.org/sympa.
- Down for the Count: A prison library handbook. Brenda Vogel. Scarecrow Press, 1995. ISBN 0810829274 / 978-0810829275
- Guidelines for library services to prisoners, 3d ed. (pamphlet), Lehmann & Locke. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 2005. ISBN 9077897070
- Library Services to the Incarcerated: Applying the public library model in correctional facility libraries. Clark & MacCreaigh. Libraries Unlimited, 2006. ISBN 1591582903 / 978-1591582908
- Library standards for adult correctional institutions (pamphlet), Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies. American Library Association, 1992. ISBN 0838975836
- The Prison Library Primer: A Program for the Twenty-First Century. Brenda Vogel. Scarecrow Press, 2009. ISBN 0810854031 / 978-0810854031
- Directrices para las bibliotecas de prisión de Cataluña (pamphlet), Col-legi Oficial de Bibliotecaris-Documentalistes de Catalunya, 2007, Col-legi Oficial de Bibliotecaris-Documentalistes de Catalunya, 2007. ISBN 9788486972257
Public library partnerships
Partnerships with Correctional Libraries – webinar archive and handouts (from 3/6/2018)
Learn how your public library can form partnerships with nearby correctional libraries. Support your future patrons today!
Parenting from prison
- Read to the Children program in correctional libraries.
- Want to check out Read to the Children and One Book Colorado videos? View them at the Colorado Virtual Library.
- The National Resource Center on Children and Family of the Incarcerated
- The Sesame Street educational tool kit, "Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration," is recommended for families and children ages 3-8 who have an incarcerated parent.
Working in prison – jobs in Colorado
Job openings - from CO-Jobs
To add a resource to this list, contact us!