ALA Annual 2013: Sessions of Interest for Prison Librarians

I am so excited for ALA’s Annual Conference this week! Here are my top sessions to visit to improve my skills as a prison librarian. Following my top choice are other sessions that our profession can learn from.

Connecting Multilingual Patrons with Legal Information: Key Resources

Presenters: Mirenda Watkins, LawHelp Interactive Program Coordinator, ProBono Net & Stacie Colston Patterson, Outreach Coordinator/Attorney at Law, Illinois Legal Aid Online
Date: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Time: 8:30 – 10:00 AM

Location: Palmer House Hilton, Spire Parlor

This workshop focuses on Spanish-language resources for librarians assisting low income and vulnerable patrons facing legal issues. We will highlight:

-LawHelpEspanol.org- a national gateway to websites providing free legal information
-LawHelpInteractive.org- a gateway to pro-se forms assisting self-represented patrons
-CitizenshipWorks.org- a website and companion app assisting individuals understand the naturalization process
-ImmigrationLawHelp.org- a website assisting low-income immigrants find legal help
-Collaborative models between libraries/civil legal services providing Spanish-language legal information/referrals.

-Participants will be able to identify available multilingual sources of legal information to assist patrons facing legal challenges.
-Participants will be able to identify available multilingual sources of legal referral information to assist patrons facing legal challenges.
-Participants will be able to identify key stakeholders and steps in creating their own civil legal services/library partnership.
-Participants will be able to identify additional online legal resources to augment their current collection.
-Participants will be able to access additional online materials concerning Librarians and the Access to Justice Movement.

Library Services for Youth in Custody
Date:  Sunday, June 30, 2013
Time: 3:00 – 4:00 PM
Location: McCormick Place Convention Center

Meeting & Social Gathering for anyone interested in library services to juvenile correctional or detention facilities. This time is for networking, problem-solving, skill-sharing, and general happy-making! You do not need to be a member of Library Services for Youth in Custody, but we would love it if you want to join.

Diversity and Outreach Fair
Date: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Time: 3:00 – 5:30 PM
Location:  McCormick Place Convention Center – Hall A1, Special Events Area

The Fair highlights library services to underserved or underrepresented communities, including people with disabilities; poor and homeless populations; people of color; English-language learners; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people; new Americans, new and non-readers; older adults; people living in rural areas; incarcerated people and ex-offenders; and mobile library services and bookmobiles. The theme of the 2013 Diversity and Outreach Fair is Removing Barriers to Service for All: Creating Meaningful and Integrated Library Experiences for People with Disabilities. One poster that will include on libraries behind bars is Mix IT Up!

Other sessions that may be of interest to the profession are: