About

Hello and welcome to Exploring Prison Librarianship!

This is your invitation to join me on my path of information seeking and exploring.

I’m Becca (on the right) and I’m on a journey to learn about the prison industrial complex (PIC) and prison librarianship.

I recently finished my masters in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I am a Jail Librarian at Champaign County Jail through Books to Prisoners; I also facilitate a men’s poetry group. I am a Prison Librarian with the Education Justice Project at Danville Correctional Center. This past year I completed a practicum with the Illinois Department of Corrections and spent my alternative spring break touring Minnesota prison libraries.

Over a year ago, I began this blog as a way to help process what I was reading about this topic because the PIC was so overwhelming as an outsider looking in that I needed an outlet. The PIC is still is overwhelming and I’m trying to find my way as a professional and caring librarian that will provide excellent services to patrons behind bars in an atmosphere where control is considered necessary.  The function of this blog is to serve as a place of sharing what I am learning about the PIC, prison librarianship, and prisoners as readers/writers.

Featured in my blog are resource lists that I encourage you to take advantage of and please share any suggestions that should be added! Resource pages try to provide lists of websites, blogs, books, articles, and videos (with as many links as I can provide for you!) on the following topics:

Feel free to contact me at ExploringPrisonLibrarianship@gmail.com to suggested readings, network, and inquire about writing a guest post, etc. All are welcomed and I would love to hear from you!
The photo above is with Rita Chiarelli at the screening of Music From the Big House, right after she gave me a much needed and wonderful hug.

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As a heads up, I am trying hard to give credit when credit is due in my blog posts since I am sharing a lot of what I’m learning through readings. So, in my posts direct quotes can be distinguished when…

they are in this grey box.

And, if there is an image, there will be a link that will bring you to the original page when you click on the image.

4 thoughts on “About

  1. I’m looking forward to following you on your prison journey. Having worked as a teacher with minors locked up in an adult jail, and having written about that experience in “I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Kids in Adult Lockup” (Beacon Press) I know how important the jail library was to them. It became a place of safety along with the classroom.

  2. Add me to your list of admirers. I wrote a paper on prison libraries last semester and consider it to be a truly honorable calling — bringing information, a mental escape, and a little comfort to those with very little. Thanks for keeping me informed on this topic with this awesome blog.

    • Thanks for the comment, the kind words, and following along with my blog journey, Amanda! Good luck working on your MLS!! If you have any additional resources I could add to my resource list that you learned about while working on your paper, please share!

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