I did my class project in my Library Services to Special Populations class on prison librarians. I took a trip out to the medium security prison and got to spend some time with the librarian there and learned a lot about both prison libraries and the odd and unique role that libraries have within prisons. This week my landlady’s son is visiting. He is a prison educator. He said they are trying to hire some librarians. I dug up a few links for him in my “Oh have you tried PRISON-LIB, the prison librarians’ listserv?” way and figured I’d drop them in here as well.
- Directory of state prison librarians – the best source for names and numbers
- Library services to adult prisoners in the United States – a good intro and a well-sourced paper
- Internet Resources of Use to (Ex-) Inmates – and more from NYPL
- Three Experts Describe “How to be a Successful Prison Librarian: Preparation for a Foreign Land” – published by the ASCLA division of ALA
- Prison librarians needed: a challenging career for those with the right professional and human skills – a paper given at IFLA, 1999
3 thoughts on “more about prison librarians”
I’m glad you posted this. Prison librarianship needs more exposure. I would love to be a prison librarian and have done my share of reading about it. Does anyone have any ideas of how to find prison library jobs? I’ve searched on each state’s DOC page but only California has jobs. It seems like no one wants to be a prison librarian and that they are needed but where are the jobs?
Just today I found myself on the Charity Donation Page of BookMooch.com. One of the things you can do is donate your BookMooch points to Books for Prisons charities. For example, the wishlist for the Midwest Pages to Prisoners Project shows 19 books they want, most of which are already available on BookMooch. If I give them a point – they can ask for one of those books and it will be sent to them at no cost to them. My only cost was whatever it cost me to send one of my books to another bookmoocher (usually under $2 by media mail). Definitely an interesting way to support more access to books in prisons.
In response to the first comment, I have worked in New York state for just over a year now (not as a prison librarian, though two prison librarians are clients of mine) and during this time there have been two postings for full time prison librarians in the state (not in NYC). So, they do come along. The postings came through on the NYLINE listserv, I don’t know if they were also posted on the DOC site. I guess prison librarian openings are even more rare than full-time Librarian I no-experience-required openings…
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