Successful Book Donation to Vandalia Correctional Center Library (& I Met My First Paid Prison Librarian!)

Last month the 3 R’s Project (Reading Reduces Recidivism) was able to make a successful donation to Vandalia Correctional Center Library!

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Vandalia’s librarian, Steve, was able to travel to a collection site to pick out collected items to bring back to the correctional library. He picked out 135 books (61 non-fiction, the rest fiction) and 20 magazines. Fiction was mostly classics, science fiction, and popular fiction (ex: Patterson). What Steve was unable to bring back to the library with him was urban fiction (a highly requested genre) due to the hardship in being able to collection urban fiction in the community.

Being able to meet a PIC librarian was great! I could barely believe I had the chance to ask any question that I wanted to someone working in a PIC library! Steve was able to share examples of key issues in the library he maintains, circulation periods, collection development & weeding, and offer feedback on some of the issues I was struggling with. Meeting Steve provided confirmation that I was on the right path on preparing for and thinking about PIC librarianship and gave me that boost that was all sometimes need to work on our work a little harder. 🙂

Expanding Lifespan of Paperbacks in the Jail Library

Currently I’m working on a large project to improve our collections in our county jail libraries (I have soooo much Urban Fiction all over my living room) and I’ll post more about the project when were closer to implementing it.

Part of the project is to try to learn how to expand the lifespan of books in the library. Many school librarians have suggested that we use contact paper since we are only allowed to offer paperbacks.

Below is an awesome instructional video teaching how to place contact paper on paperbacks:

This technique has worked great so far. One thing that I found worked better was to fold and re-fold over a tiny part of a corner and rub it with your fingers in order to loosen the contact paper from the paper backing.

An unfortunate side of this is that our contact paper is easy to peel off. I could easily take a corner and peal it all the way across the cover. So, now we are looking at how we can place packing tape over the ends of the paper to seal the contact paper onto the inside cover or order the contact paper through Demco or Gaylord.

PIC Librarianship Presentation to be at Joint Conference of Librarians of Color

At the upcoming Joint Conference of Librarians of Color will be a poster presentation about PIC librarianship.

Deidra Herring (above), Education Subject Specialist at the Ohio State University,  will be presenting Making the Connection Between Juvenile Prisons and Academic Libraries: The Ohio Department of Youth Services Library System.

The poster presentation serves as a platform to raise awareness about prison librarianship and to better educate audiences about those library services offered to support the educational curriculum and literacy programming needed for incarcerated youth. The information is based on research presented in Behavioral and Social Sciences Librarian focusing on the juvenile correctional facilities (JCFs) and library services in Ohio. JCF librarians and public libraries have been proactive, but what role do academic libraries play?

Also can’t be at her presentation? Read her 2009 article The Ohio Department of Youth Services Juvenile Prison Library System. Below is the abstract:

The article is an introduction to The Ohio Department of Youth Services librarians and the services they provide. Information about each juvenile prison facility is revealed and provides an explanation of guidelines and standards for prison libraries. Sixty-eight questions were asked in four in-person interviews to present a profile of the librarians working within juvenile correctional facility high schools and examines the effects of literacy programming. Six categories covered are (1) questions for the librarian; (2) questions about the library; (3) patron usage, access, and service; (4) programming and collaborative efforts; (5) collection development and budget; and (6) additional questions.

An Author’s Perspective on Urban Fiction: Hermes Hanover

I first heard from Hermes Hanover through a response after he read my guest blog post,  The Transformative Power of Urban Literature

While in communication with Hermes, he told me that:

I think that urban literature is a genre that is not given enough attention or validation and I hope to in a small way change that with my novel.

Hermes’s first urban fiction novel, Never Die: A Philadelphia Story, just came out this July.

Here is part of an interview with Hermes at the blog independentpublisher:

IBP: The main character Nina is extremely violent and certain passages in the novel it is indicated she actually enjoys the more violent aspects of the drug trade. Are you concerned with the effect this may have on young readers?

HH:  That’s a good question….while I don’t feel this is a novel for really young readers twelve or thirteen, I do think that it can be a powerful conversation piece about some of the ills that still continue to plague the black community til this day.  This generation is the post crack era generation, the video game text me, facebook me, generation, they are the inheritors of the ruins left by the scourge of drugs on the black community during the 1980’s and ‘90’s.  I think urban novels helped to provide a context for the environment and the circumstances that created these situations.  My hope is that readers who purchase this novel can walk away with more than just a “Niecy’s revenge”  type story where the character gets away with their misdeeds, but a realistic yet entertaining portrayal of a young woman trying to obtain power in a violent and male dominated world and facing the harsh consequences of her decisions.

IBP: So you’re saying Nina isn’t a hero?

HH: By no means! Make no mistake although Nina’s a leader and successful at her trade, she is a psychopath who ultimately cares about no one, not even herself.  I want readers to recognize Nina for what she is: the product of drugs and poverty who chooses to inflict pain on others to ease her own.  The few friends she has are all involved in her plans and she finds that her strive to become Philadelphia’s top female drug kingpin will take risking everything important to her, including the lives of her friends.

To read more of this interview, follow this link: This Month’s Interview Spotlight: Hermes Hanover.

Back into the Swing of Things

I have been missing in action for the last couple weeks due to hoping in the car to make a quick trip back home to visit relatives that came for a visit from the other side of the states. This is were I met other librarians in my family and what a blast we had! (Photo above – librarians in green!)

This summer has been busy to say the least… I met my first paid prison librarian for the first time, created a bibliography on prison librarianship, am knee deep on a collection development project that includes tracking the lifespan of books in a correctional library, proposed a book club for the local jails, wrote a final paper that was proposal for a re-entry program at a public library, and today I’m prepping to organize and correctly label a collection of books with an other volunteer so we can be super effective when we are in the library this week.

It is now time to get back into the swing of academia and I am exploring bibliographic metadata (the fancy way of saying cataloging) and network systems.

I’ll try to post once a week, but with heaviness of course loads some weeks may be skipped.