Reading Day Celebration Takes Place in Indian Prison Library

On June 19th, a Reading Day Pledge was recited by the General of Police to kick off the Central Prison‘s Reading Day Celebration, which spans a week. The celebration is in honor of P. N. Panicker.

For the inmates of the Central Prison, Poojappura, who spend a considerable amount of time in the company of books, there could have been no better time to take such a pledge than during the Reading Week celebrations.

The celebration was organized by the prison, the P. N. Panicker Foundation, and others.

The prison library holds 15,000 books and welcomes 80 patrons daily.

The prison library has a varied collection of books and has a regular supply of all the leading national and regional newspapers and magazines. The prison also has computer labs, television, and radios for the inmates to keep up with the latest happenings around the world.

Read the full article here:

Library of a Different KindThe Hindu. 23 June 2012.


P. N. Panicker Foundation

Delicia Greene – Called an Urban Fiction Expert

I came across Delicia Greene, PhD student, this week – put this woman on your list of important people and to keep an eye out for!

Greene is a doctoral student at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, working on her proposal: Concrete Roses: A Case Study Exploring the Reading Engagements of Black Adolescent Girls in an Urban Fiction Book Club.

Concrete Roses explores both the social and cultural factors that influence the reading engagements of Black Adolescent girls in an Urban Fiction Book Club. More specifically, this case study provides an intimate account of the experiences black adolescent girls bring to urban fiction texts, as well as the experiences that they take away from urban fiction texts. Concrete Roses also focuses on trends in character analyses by drawing on the representation of black girls in urban fiction books and its influence on black adolescent girls’ identity construction. Lastly, this case study explores the social factors present in an Urban Fiction Book Club that influences “sense of community” and full disclosure among members. (Schroeder)

Why is Greene working on her doctorate?  “It was my work with middle school students, libraries and literacy that led me to pursue my PhD,” Greene states (Schroeder).

A little more about her background:

She holds master’s degrees in both Library and Information Science and Secondary English Education (Grades 7-12), and an Advanced Certificate in Administration and Supervision. Prior to her arrival at the iSchool, she worked several years for the Department of Education as a middle school librarian in the South Bronx and for several years as a young adult librarian for The New York Public Library. Greene’s scholarly interests are interdisciplinary with the expressed aim of bridging the fields of library and information science, literacy, and English education. (Schroeder)

Once I watched the first YouTube video of Greene, I watched all of them. I can’t wait to read her dissertation!

On Urban Fiction:

On Integrating Urban Fiction into a Collection:

On Push:

On Coldest Winter Ever:


Schroeder, Gretchen. Doctoral Student Delicia Green Receives Two HonorsISchool News. 27 June 2011.

Sapphire at ALA

1. I wish I would have been able to go to ALA.

2. I wish I would have been able to see Sapphire at ALA!

But we non-ALA goers can get a glimpse through a recorded interview Sapphire gave to a librarian during ALA:

In the same note as Sapphire, here is one of my new favorite people, Delicia Greene (more on here tomorrow), talking about Push:

Additional resource of interest:

Sapphire’s Story: How ‘Push’ Became ‘Precious’. NPR: All Things Considered. 6 Nov 2009.

Brazil’s New Program: Redemption Through Reading

Select people behind bars in Brazil have gained a new opportunity to reduce their sentence: reading.

One book offers four days off of one’s sentence, with the maximum of reading 12 books per year.

Readers have the choice of the following to read:

  • literature
  • philosophy
  • science
  • classics (Reading Offers…)

After completing the work, one must:

make correct use of paragraphs, be free of corrections, use margins and legible joined-up writing. (Reading Offers…)

Insight-Organized Crime and the Christian Science Monitor show their hesitation when reporting on this new program.

The Christian Science Monitor is worried about people actually finishing books:

And as we learned in fifth grade, writing a book report is no guarantee that one has really finished a book. How do we ensure that the prisoners are really doing the reading thoroughly and completely?

Insight-Organized Crime is worried about the black market and this program:

In addition, the incentive could create a black market for prisoners writing book reports for others in order to pass the review panel. Inmates who have not been selected for the program may be co-erced into producing reviews for those who have, meaning a prisoner may significantly reduce their sentence without actually having participated. Strict policing of the program will need to be carried out to ensure it attains the desired results.

Geez Louise! Can’t new programs give it the good ole try without  naysayers ruining the excitement of a new program?

EDIT / UPDATE: This program is part of many – check out my follow-up post: Redemption Through Reading’s Sibling Program.


Fox, Edward. Brazil Introduces Reading Program For Prisoners To Reduce Sentences. Insight-Organized Crime. 27 June 2012.

Haq, Husna. In Brazil’s Prisons, Inmates Shorten Sentences By Reading. Christian Science Monitor. 26 June 2012.

Reading Offers Brazilian Prisoners Quicker Escape. Reuters. 25 June 2012.

Hawaii’s Women Behind Bars Asked to Transcribe Archieved Newspapers

Unidentified organizers of the project and prison staff are asking inmates in the only women’s prison in Hawaii to volunteer to:

manually typing copy from [60,000 pages of newspapers] microfilm into a searchable database as a way for incarcerated women to reconnect with Hawaii’s rich history and culture — to more fully understand why they see the world the way they do.

The Warden sees interest in having the women behind bars, especially the 43% of the population that are native Hawaiians, volunteer because he states

These women need to learn who they are — not just for themselves but for their children.

This task would be completed in the prison library on three computers. There library does not sound too appealing, for in the article is described as:

a room filled with law tomes and random books like “Disney’s Family Story Collection” and “Seattle: Then and Now.”

To read the full article, visit:

Garcia, Oskar. Prison Inmates Join Project to Transcribe Historical Hawaiian-Language Newspapers. Associated Press. 13 June 2012.

Further Sources into Hawaii’s women’s prison / prison library:

Hawaii Women Inmates Nurture Breadfruit Trees

  • Where image is from.

Hawaii’s Corrections Administration Policy and Procedures: Library Service

  • Not positive if this is for the whole state or just for the Women’s Community Correctional Center.

Inmates Find Mutual Growth Through Breadfruit Trees. Hawaii Public Radio.

van Gelder, Sarah. Can Prison Be a Healing Place?: Why the Warden of Hawii’s Only Prison Creates a Sanctuary for its Residents. Yes! 14 June 2011.

Women’s Community Correctional Center

International Prison Library Resources

This image is from Worldmapper, which provides a cartogram (which re-sizes each territory according to the variable being mapped) to show the percentage of prisoners to each country. You can click on the image to see a PDF about prisoners they have made.

While we are in the midst of exploring international prison libraries, now might be the time to share some international prison library resources:

To read what we’ve been exploring in international prison studies, visit the post: Exploring International Prison Libraries.

**FYI: More might be added here while I finish reading about prison libraries outside of the U.S.**

Burning of Korans in NATO Prison Library in Afghanistan

I guess book burning is not in the past. This morning I read an article about Korans being burnt in one of the largest NATO bases in Afghanistan:

The Korans were burned after they were removed from a prison library at NATO’s largest base in Afghanistan, triggering protests and violence across the country that killed at least 30 people. Shortly afterward, two American officers were shot dead in a secure area of the Afghan Interior Ministry.

You can read the full article here: U.S. Recommends No Criminal Charges for Afghan Koran Burning.