Prison Librarianship Resources


ALA Prison Libraries Wiki

Correctional Librarian Resources

Directory of State Prison Libraries

Library Services for the Imprisoned

Pace Law Library’s Prisoners’ Rights Law Resources

  • “A gateway to information on prisoners’ rights, including federal, state, and international primary and secondary sources, in print and online, with a particular focus on special populations and topical issues.”

Prison Librarians Special Interest Group – Metro LibGuide

Between the Lines: Washington State Library Blog

GELA Prison Project

INFO CZARINA’s Information Needs of Prisoners: An Annotated Bibliography 

Prison Librarian (Glennor Shirley’s blog)

One Annotated Bibliography for Prison Libraries: A Library Student’s Attempt

Books, Articles, and Journals

Advocate, Merribeth and Sandra Nelson. “Comprehensive Library Services Performed by Correctional Facility Libraries Served by the Mid-Hudson Library System.”Webjuntion, Creative Commons: Dec 6, 2007.

Akey, Sharon Ann. “An Annotated Bibliography of Recent Prison Library Literature.” MA Thesis. San Jose State University, 1974.

  • The link in the title of this work brings you to WorldCat, which directs you to ERIC to read this document full text. Unfortunately ERIC had a breach in security. To request this document to be brought to the front of the cue to be brought back online, there should be a link for you to make this request (the page isn’t loading for me as a type this – but I’m sure you will figure it out!).

Albertson, Marie. “A Second Chance for a Family’s Survival: The Indiana State Library’s Read-To-Me Program” Indiana State Libraries. 20.2 (2001): 27-8.

  • This newsletter explores why the Read-To-Me program started, its process, and success stories from incarcerated mothers, fathers, and correctional staff. Their current information is online at:

Andersen, Lynn. “From the Alternatives Library: Books in Prison”. Progressive Librarian 21 (Winter 2002): 38.*

– – -. “From the Alternatives Library: Update on Prison Projects” Progressive Librarian 25 (2005): 96.*

Arnold, Renea and Nell Colburn. “From a Distance.” School Library Journal 52.9 (2006): 32. **

Asher, Curt. “Interlibrary Loan Outreach to a Prison: Access Inside.” Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve 16.3 (2006): 29.***

Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies American Library Association. Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions. Chicago, IL: American Library Association, 1992.

Australian Library and Information Association. Australian prison libraries: minimum standard guidelines. Canberra: Australian Library and Information Association, 1990.

Bailey, Sharon, Parry Kim, and Emily Thompson. “Prison Libraries: An Annotated Bibliography.” Oct. 24, 2011

  • This annotation provides an overview and sections on prison library services and programming, access to information and the digital divide, collection development, and their own search strategies.

Bashore, Melvin L. “Behind Adobe Walls and Iron Bars: The Utah Territorial Penitentiary Library.” Libraries & Culture 38.3 (Summer 2003): 236-49.

Bigman, Paul. How to Use an Illinois Prison Law Library. 1981.

Boston, John and Daniel Manville. Prisoners’ Self-Help Litigation Manual4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Bouchard, Joseph. Wake Up and Smell the Contraband: A Guide to Improving Prison Safety. 2nd ed. Horsham, PA: LRP Publications, 2005.***

— and Amanda Winnicki, “You Found What in a Book?: Contraband Control in the Prison Library.” Library & Archival Security 16.1 (2000): 54.***

— and L. Kunze. “Teaching Diverse Students in a Corrections Setting with Assistance from the Library.” Journal of Correctional Education 54 (2003): 66-9.****

Bowden, Teresa S. “A Snapshot of State Prison Libraries with a Focus on Technology.” Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 21.2 (December 2002):1–12.***

Bowe, Carole. “Recent Trends in UK Prison Libraries.” Library Trends 59.3 (Winter 2011): 427-45.

Brooks, W.H. “Meaningful access for indigents on death row: Giarratano v. Murray and the right to counsel in post conviction proceedings.” Vanderbilt Law Review 43 (1990): 569-591.******

Brown, Yvette. “From the Reference Desk to the Jailhouse: Unauthorized Practice of Law and Librarians.” Legal References Quarterly 13.4 (1994): 31-45.

Burek Pierce, Jennifer. “Service Learning Sustains Hope.” American Libraries 37. 10 (2006): 45.**

Calhoun, Emily. “The First Amendment Rights of Prisoners.” Prisoners’ Rights Sourcebook: Theory, Litigation, Practice; Vol. II. Ed. Ira Robbins. New York: Clark Boardman Company, 1980. 43-65.

  • Calhoun explores a couple of court cases in alignment of intellectual freedom. This source should be used for beginning to look at laws surrounding the first amendment, but newer sources need to be consulted.

Campbell, Diane K. “The Context of the Information Behavior of Prison Inmates.” Progressive Librarian 26 (Winter 2005/2006):18-?.***

Chesley, Thea. Illinois Department of Corrections Adult Prison and Youth Center Library Services: An Overview. Illinois Libraries. 73.6 (Nov. 1991): 568-9.

—. “Library Instruction in Illinois Correctional Institutions.” Illinois Libraries 70 (December 1988): 659-663.***

Chin, Stephanie L. Library Services in U.S. Immigration Detention Facilities. Diss. San Jose State University, 2010. San Jose, CA: UMI: 1477304.

Clark, Sheila and Bobbie Patrick. “Choose Freedom Read: Book Talks Behind Bars.” American Libraries 30.7 (1999): 63-4. **

—- and Erica MacCreaigh. Library Services to the Incarcerated: Applying the Public Library Model in Correctional Facility Libraries.Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2006.

Cohen, Morris L. “Reading Law in Prison.” The Prison Journal 48.1 (Spring/Summer 1968): 21-27.

Collis, Roy and Liz Boden. Guidelines for Prison Libraries. 2ndEd. London: Library Association Publishing, 1997.

Costanzo, Emanuela, Giorgio Montecchi, and Eda Derhemi. “Prison Libraries in Italy.” Library Trends 59.3 (Winter 2011): 509-19.

Coyle, William. Libraries in Prisons: A Blending of Institutions. New Directions in Information Management, no. 15. New York: Greenwood Press, 1987. **

Cramard, Odile and Kevin McLoughlin. “The Long Development of Prison Libraries in France.” Library Trends 59.3 (Winter 2011): 544-62.

Cramer, Wendy and Sandy Rieckhoff. “Showtime at Racine Correctional Institution Library.” Interface 28.4 (Winter 2006): 7-8.**

Curry, Ann with Kris Wolf, Sandra Boutilier, and Helen Chan. “Canadian federal prison libraries: a national survey.” Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 35.3 (Sept. 2003): 141-52.

Dalton, Phyllis I. Library Services to Correctional Facilities in Other Countries. Library Trends. Summer 1977. 97-117.

Deacon, J. “Throwing the Books at Them – Lots of Books. Montgomery County’s Correctional Facility Library.” American Jails 20 (2006): 25-8.****

Dixen, Rebecca and Stephanie Thorson. “How Librarians Serve People in Prison.” Computers in Libraries. (October 2001). 48-53. Print.

  • Dixen and Thorson have a major fact wrong that is hard to forgive in relation to the work of The New Jim Crow which is hard to dispute: “There are more white people in prison than black” (51). Other strong points their articles seem much stronger, such as 95% of prisoners will re-enter society and need to be prepared, but how will prisoners be prepared without access to technology (49)? This article is also strong in sharing the popular belief of the correctional facility becoming less about rehabilitation and more focus on punishment; this is seen through the decline in full libraries and programs to law-mandated basic information access. Also highlighted is the importance of gaining patrons trust, information needs on law by gender, websites on accessing law information.

Engelbarts, Rudolf. Books in Stir: A Bibliographic Essay About Prison Libraries and About Books Written by Prisoners and Prison Employees. Metuchen, N.J: Scarecrow Press, 1972.

Floch, Maurice and Genevieve Casey. “The Librarian Goes to Prison.” ALA Bulletin 49.3 (March 1955): 126-8.***

Flores, Arturo A. “Bounds and Reality: Lawbooks Alone Do Not a Lawyer Make.” Law Library Journal 275 (1984-1985): 77.***

Fyfe, Janet. Books Behind Bars: The Role of Books, Reading, and Libraries in British Prison Reform, 1701-1911. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.

Geary, Mike. “Trends in Prison Library Service.” Bookmobile and Outreach Services 6.1 (2003): 79-91. **

Gerken, Joseph L. “Does Lewis v. Casey Spell the End to Court-Ordered Improvement of Prison Law Libraries?” 95 Law Library Journal 491 (Fall 2003): 491.***

Greenway, Sandra Annette. “Library Services Behind Bars.” Bookmobile and Outreach Services 10. 2 (2007): 43-64. **

Guidelines for easy-to-read materials, RevisionInternational Federation of Library Association and Institutions IFLA Professional Reports, No. 120. 2010.

Gulker, Virgil. Books Behind Bars. Metuchen, N.J., Scarecrow Press, 1973.*

Hinckley, Steven D. “Bounds and Beyond: A Need to Reevaluate the Right of Prisoner Access to the Courts.” University of Richmond Law Review 22 (1987): 19.***

Holtz, Titia A. “Reaching Out from Behind Bars: The Constitutionality of Laws Baring Prisoners from the Internet.” Brooklyn Law Review 67 (Spring, 2002): 855.***

Hotchkiss, Carolyn and Jeffra Becknell. “Your Right to Learn About the Law: Jailhouse Lawyers and Law Libraries.” Columbia Human Rights Review. 16:1-2 (Fall 1984 -Spring 1985): 37-53.

Huffman, Robert D. “Robert Palmer, Prison Librarian: Guys Tell Me: ‘If I Couldn’t Read, I’d Go Bugs’.” American Libraries 7.6 (Jun 1976): 350-1.

Ingersoll, Jared. “Romanov’s University”: Libraries, Books, and Learning in Imperial Russian PrisonsIndiana Slavic Studies. 16 (2006): 113-29.

Ings, Catherine and Jennifer Joslin. Correctional Service of Canada Prison Libraries from 1980 to 2010.”  Library Trends 59.3 (Winter 2011): 386-408.

Johnson, Justine. “Books Behind Bars: Is Correctional Librarianship a Job for You? – A pathfinder for librarians and library science students interested in exploring library services to the incarcerated as a profession.” December 2009.

  • This pathfinder’s intention is on the historical and current placement of LIS and the connection between the PIC and libraries as institutions. It offers sections on general sources, history of correctional library services, correctional library programing, profiles of correctional librarians, juvenile populations, and professional resources.

Jones, Patrick. “Reaching Out to Young Adults in Jail.” Young Adult Library Services 3.1 (Fall 2004): 14-17. ***

Kelly, E.S., Sun, C., Shapiro, R., Houk, B., & Davis, V. “Prison law-library service, questions and models.” Law Library Journal 72.4 (1979): 598-611.******

—. “Planning and Implementing Prison Libraries: Strategies and Resources.” IFLA Journal 29 (2003): 301-7.****

King, Thomas Lawrence. “Library Staff at Ohio Prisons: An Investigation of Four Key Demographic Variables and Their Relationships to Job Satisfaction and Career Incentives.” Thesis. Simmons College. 2006.

Kirby, Patricia and Elizabeth Letterly. …At Logan Correctional Center: Where’s the love poems? Illinois Libraries. 73.6 (Nov. 1991): 580-2.

Knudsen, Mark. “How My Library Affects My Life in Prison.” Education Libraries 24.1 (2000): 20.

Koons, Phil. “Lest We Forget: Prison Libraries.” Library Journal. 113 (15 May 1988): 51-3.

Kripps, Stephanie. “Reference by Hanging Around: Our Back Porch Info Centre.” Feliciter. 51.6 (2005): 262-4. Print.

  • Kripps highlights Vancouver Public Library’s outreach program with a halfway house for newly released parolees. She expands on how to gain trust and be personal with parolees to the extent of hand delivering library cards, walking together to the local library branch, introducing them to the staff, materials, and an introduction to computer use one-on-one. This unique re-entry program is not without self-criticism which included the need to further reach out to those less literate.

Lehmann, Vibeke. “Challenges and Accomplishments in U.S. Prison Libraries.” Library Trends 59.3 (Winter 2011): 490-508.

—. “Introduction.” Library Trends 59.6 (Winter 2011): 383-5.

—. Prison Librarians Needed: A Challenging Career For Those With the Right Profession and Human SkillsIFLA 1999 Bangkok Conference Proceedings. (20-28 Aug 1999).

—. “The Prison Library: A Vital Link to Education, Rehabilitation, and Recreation.” Education Libraries 24.1 (2000): 5-10.

—. “Prisoners’ Right of Access to the Courts: Law Libraries in the U.S. Prisons.” August 1994. IFLA Conference Proceedings. Web.

— and Joanne Locke. Guidelines for library services to prisoners, 3rd EditionInternational Federation of Library Associations and Institutions IFLA Professional Reports, No. 92. 2005.

Lucas, Linda. “Educating Prison Librarians.” Journal of Information Science 30.3 (Winter 1990): 218-25.*****

London, D. Jarvis. “Conduit for Restoration: The Prison Library.” Education Libraries 24.1 (2000): 21-2.*****

McClaskey, Harris C. “Training and Research in Correctional Librarianship.” Library Trends 26.1 (Summer 1977): 39-52.*****

McCook, Kathleen de la Pena. “Public Libraries and People in Jail.” Reference & User Services Quarterly. 44.1 (2004): 26-30.**

McGrorty, Michael. “Prison Library.” Library Juice 7.3 (2004).*

MacArthur, B. “Books as Solace in Captivity.” Logos 16 (2005): 95-7.****

Mantilla, Karla. “Windows to Freedom: Radical Feminism at a Jail Library.” off our backs 31.2 (2001). **

Mark, Amy E.. “Libraries Without Walls: An Internship at Oshkosh Correctional Institution Library.” Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 23.2 (2005): 97-111. **

Martin, Sandra L. and Nikki U. Colten. “The Motherhead Program: Literacy Intervention for Incarcerated Women.” Corrections Today (Dec 1, 1995).*****

Medina, Luis D. “The Prison Library as Viewed By Four Inmates: The Importance of Prison Libraries.” Education Libraries 24.1 (2000): 17.*****

Nakane, Kenichi and Setsuko Noguchi. “‘Prison Libraries’ in Japan: The Current Situation of Access to Books and Reading in Correctional Institutions.” Library Trends 59.3 (Winter 2011): 446-59.*****

Nomura, Misako, and Bror I. Tronbacke. Guidelines for Easy-to-Read Materials: Revision. Hague: IFLA Headquarters, 2010. Print.*****

Omagbemi, Clement and Abiodun Odunewu. An Appraisal of Library Services Provision to Prison Inmates in NigeriaInformation, Society and Justice. 1.2 (June 2008): 245-54.

Palmer, Rick. “Trying New Things: Bibliotherapy in Prison.” Peace Magazine (July-Sept., 2000): 26.*

Payne, William and Michael Sabath. “Trends in the Use of Information Management Technology in Prison Libraries.” Behavioral and Social Science Librarian.26:2 (2007): 1-10. Print.

  • Payne and Sabath explore the uses and types of technology used in minimum to maximum security prisons, in male and female prisons, and in multiple varieties of prison types. The authors compare their statistics to Bowden’s 2003 statistics, in which there has been improvements in technology access to prisoners and librarians, the most drastic being internet access, although only 18% of librarians have access (6). Security level, gendered institutions, and population size all factor into the amount of technology available, from label makers to barcode scanners for circulation to computers and software.

Peschers, Gerhard and Anna Patterson. “Books Open Worlds for People Behind Bars: Library Services in Prison as Exemplified by Munster Prison Library, Germany’s ‘Library of the Year 2007’.” Library Trends 59.3 (Winter 2011): 520-43.*****

Pool, Jane. “Public Library Services to Correctional Facilities.” Library Trends. 26.1 (Summer 1977): 139-53. Print.

  • Pool opens up the importance of relationships between prison and public libraries and the repercussions to the public, such as increased public safety, and to prisoners, such as how they “may preserve and enhance their integrity as individuals through a stable relationship with an agency of society” (139, 150). Pool also explores public/prison programs from the beginning, 1912, to ALA policies and standards to legal cases. The unique view from Pool is her rational behind public libraries responsibility to prisons. On the other hand, this author does not question the standard that libraries provide general services and correctional facilities provide legal material, for libraries could be providing essential tools that are lacking to prisoners.

“Prisoners’ Right to Read: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.” Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom. 59.5 (September 2010): 192-3. Print.

  • Within this newsletter is a printed final version of the Prisoners’ Right to Read, a valuable piece to librarians and those who have experienced life behind bars. ALA acknowledges that prisoners do not lose their human-ness once they enter prison and knowledge that is available to free persons is essential to prisoners since most will be released. It is recognized that prison librarians must answer to federal and state laws, as well as administrative policies that will trump librarians’ putting some of this bill into place. Included in these rights are: access to computers and the internet, sexual content, media, materials in other languages, and much more.

Pulido, Margarita Perez and Christinal De Angelo. “Library Services in Spanish Prisons: Current State of Affairs.” Library Trends 59.3 (Winter 2011): 460-72.*****

Purifory, Randy. “You Are Here: A Guided Tour of the Oshkosh Correctional Institution Prison Library.” Education Libraries 24.1 (2000): 18-9.*****

Reese, Diane. “Behind the Walls.” Colorado Libraries 26. 2 (Summer 2000): 45. **

— and Blair Austin. Standards in Colorado Correctional Libraries: Uniting Service and Security. Colorado Libraries. 33.1 (2007): 26-9.

“Resolution on Guantanamo & the Rights of Prisoners to Read.” SRRT Newsletter. 164/165 (Jan 2009): 11.

  • The Social Responsibilities Round Table of the ALA calls for the closing of Guantanamo, until then prisoners rights to read and ability to have access to reading material by sourcing denied access, United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and the Geneva Treaty.

Rhodes, J.”New Life for a Tired System – The Prison Library.” Canadian Library Journal 30.3 (1973): 246-9.*

Ripley, Paul. Prison education in England and Wales. Bristol: Staff College, Cammbe Lodge, 1992.******

Robson, Elizabeth. Reference Service at the Danville Correctional Center Library – or How to Get by with Limited Help, Funds, and Time. Illinois Libraries. 73.6 (Nov. 1991): 567-8.

Rubin, Rhea Joyce. “U.S. Prison Library Services and Their Theoretical Bases.” Occasional Papers, The University of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science, No. 110 (1973).*

— and Daniel Suvak. Libraries Inside: A Practical Guide for Prison LibrariansJefferson, NC: McFarland, 1995.

— and Sandra J. Souza. “The Challenge Continues: Prison Librarianship in the 1980s.” Library Journal 114.4 (Mar 1 1989).

Rudovsky, David. The Rights of Prisoners: An American Civil Liberties Union Handbook. NY: Avon Books, 1973.

Sample, Holbrook. “The Great Escape: In a Maximum-Security Prison, There’s a Place Where Shakespeare Gets Stolen, Poets are Kings, and Books Still Matter.” City Limits 26.2 (Feb 28, 2001): 18.*

Sandra Marz. “A Jail Becomes a Modern Law Library.” AALL SPECTRUM 6(May 2002): 8.*******

Sawyer, Michael. “Automation Goes to Prison.” Computers in Libraries 9 (May 1989): 4-10.*****

—. Inmates Do Ask Questions: Automation and Reference Service in a Correctional Setting. Reference Services Reviews. 17.4 (Winter 1989): 49-54.

Schneider, Julia. “Three Experts Describe How to be a Successful Prison Librarian: Preparation for a Foreign Land.” Interface 25.3 (2003). **

— and Ron Chepesiuk. “Prison Libraries Change Lives.” American Libraries 27.10 (Nov 1996): 46-8.*****

Schouten, Joseph A. “Not So Meaningful Anymore: Why a Law Library is Required to Make a Prisoner’s Access to the Courts Meaningful.” William and Mary Law Review 45.3 (2004): 1195-1227.*******

Seamone, Evan R., “Fahrenheit 451 on Cell Block D: A Bar Examination to Safeguard America’s Jailhouse Lawyers from the Post-Lewis Blaze Consuming Their Law Libraries.” Yale Law & Policy Review 24.1 (Winter 2006): 91-147.*******

Selnick, S. “READ/Orange County: Changing Lives Through Literacy.” Public Libraries 43 (2004): 53-6.****

Shethar, A. “‘Literacy and “Empowerment’? A Case Study of Literacy behind Bars.”  Anthropology & Education Quarterly 24.4: 357-72.*

Shirley, Glennor. “Correctional Education, Library Standards, and Diversity.” Journal of Correctional Education 54.2 (2003): 70-4.*****

—. Library Services to Adult Prisoners in the United SatesLibreas: Library Ideas. (Mar 2006).

Singer, Glen. “Prison Libraries Inside Out.” Education Libraries 24.1 (2000): 11-6.

Smallwood, Carol. Libraries as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook. Chicago: American Library Assn Editions, 2010.*****

Smallwood, Carol. Libraries as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook. Amer Library Assn Editions, 2010.

  • Has chapter on “Correctional Facility Outreach”
  • This chapter features articles from practitioners on successful outreach into prisons to young adults and adults with children. The theme of cyclical or chain learning is throughout this chapter; if prisoners are engaged in reading/writing this will spiral to their self-improvement and to their children and people around them. Another prominent theme was rules and regulations of the prison affecting the effectiveness of the programs. For example, 1.) issues of censoring discourse on the topics of race, sex, drugs, violence, etc, is discussed by how the program instructor facilitated sessions without directly mentioning banned topics; 2.) no funding and prisoners formed their own props for storytelling, 3.) directors sought out permission to have children sit next to incarcerated parents for story time. A critique must be made to this piece, for one of the benefits for one of the programs was to be used as a tool of control for the prison, for prisoners would be more likely to “conform to institutional rules for an opportunity to be with their families” (69). One here must question the role of the library and if its dedication is to be made to the carceral state or those living behind bars.

Smith, Christopher E. “Examining the boundaries of Bounds: Prison law libraries and access to the courts,” 30 Howard Law Journal 27 (1987)***

Smith, C. E..” Improving the use of prison law libraries: a modest proposal.”  Law Library Journal 79 (1987): 227-39.******

Spector, Herman C. “A Prison Librarian Looks at Writ-Writing.” California Law Review 56.2 (Apr 1968): 365-70.*

Standing Committee on Law Library Service to Institutional Residents, Contemporary Social Problems Special Interest Section, and American Association of Law Libraries. Correctional Facility Law Libraries: An A to Z Resource Guide. Springfield, VA: Goodway Graphics, 1991.

Stearns, Robert M. “The Prison Library: An Issue for Corrections, or a Correct Solution for Its Issues?” Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 23.1 (2004): 49-80.**

Stevens, Tony and Bob Usherwood. “The Development of the Prison Library and its Role within the Models of Rehabilitation.” The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice34.1(Feb 1995): 45.***

Sullivan, Larry E.. “Between Empty Covers: Prison Libraries in Historical Perspective.” Wilson Library Bulletin 64 (1989): 26-8. Library Lit & Inf Full Text, WilsonWeb (accessed November 24, 2009)**

—. “The Least of Our Brethren: Library Service to Prisoners.” American Libraries. (May 2000): 56-8. Print.

  • Sullivan summarizes the prison librarians “job is to balance security with providing the tools necessary to reintegrate the prisoner into the community” (58). One of these tools that the author focuses on is the internet, which questions if prisoners will be able to function in re-entry without it. Furthering the idea of access, which no prisoner had at the time of publication, Sullivan ponders the ability of distance learning. Sullivan also provides a brief history of access in prison libraries in relation to punishment and control.

—. “‘Prison is Dull Today’: Prison Libraries and the Irony of Pious Reading.” PMLA 123.3 (May 2008): 703-6.***

—. “Reading in American Prisons: Structures and Strictures.” Libraries & Culture 33.1 (1998): 113-9.

  • Sullivan explores the histories of reading in prison and prison reform from the beginning of prison libraries to the 1970s. He explores the rhetoric of reading in prison from the view point of the keeper and the kept.

Sutherland, T. “Freedom From Captivity.” Logos 8 (1997): 83-4.****

Suvak, Daniel. “Throw the Book at ’Em: The Changed-Based Model for Prison Library.” Wilson Library Bulletin (October, 1989):33.***

—. “Federal Prison Libraries: The Quiet Collapse.” Library Journal (June 1977): 1341-43.***

Sweeney, Megan. “Books as Bombs: Incendiary Reading Practices in Women’s Prisons.” PMLA. 123.3 (May 2008): 666-72.*****

—. “Living to Read True Crime: Theorizations from Prison.” Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 25.1-2 (Winter/Spring 2003): 55-80.*****

—. Reading Is My Window: Books and the Art of Reading in Women’s Prison. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.*****

Tillman-Davis, Michael W.  “My Time on Rikers Island.” Law Library Journal 99 (2007): 151.*******

Todaro, Julie. “Reaching Beyond Bars: Women‟s Storybook Project of Texas.” Texas Library Journal 83.3 (2007): 128-9. **

Trammell, Rebecca. Werner’s Manual for Prison Law Libraries. 3rd Ed. Buffalo, NY: William S. Hein & Co., 2004.*****

Trousnstine, Jean. Shakespeare Behind Bars: The Power of Drama in a Women’s Prison. St. Martin’s Press: New York, 2001.

Wade, Anne. “Resources on the Net: Professional Development.” Education Libraries 24.1 (2000): 34-6.*****

Walden, Diane. Breaking the Cycle: Prison Reading Program Encourages Literacy. Colorado Libraries. 30.4 (Winter 2004).

Westwood, Karen. “Prison Law Librarianship: A Lesson in Service for All Librarians.” American Libraries 25.2 (Feb 1994): 152-4.*****

Wetherbee, Winthrop. “Cornell at Auburn: An Experiment in Teaching and Learning.” (Unpublished undergraduate paper). Department of English, Cornell University.*

White, Aisha. “The Information Use Environment within a Women’s Correctional Facility: An Instrumental Case Study.” Thesis. University of Pittsburgh, 2003.*****

Wilhelmus, D. W. “A New Emphasis for Correctional Facilities’ Libraries.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 25 (1999): 114-20.****

Wilkins, Barratt. “The Correctional Facility Library: History and Standards.” Library Trends 26.1 (Summer 1977): 119-24. Print.

  • Wilkins explores the transformation from prison libraries focus being on evangelization to rehabilitation to re-entry. He problematizes the concept of rehabilitation in the correctional facility and its library at a time where standards were becoming set on multiple levels in the institution. Wilkins reveals factors, such as funding, lack of being in the decision making process, and lack of cooperation, in which made prison libraries unable to achieve goals set by correctional governing bodies such as rehabilitation and re-entry. A unique position that Wilkins takes is that if prison libraries were also able to serve the information needs of the staff, the library prison would be able to provide better service to the prisoners.

Wise, Olga and J. MacGregor Smith. Planning a Legal Reference Library for a Correctional Institution. Champaign, IL: National Clearinghouse for Criminal Justice Planning and Architecture, 1976.*****

Vogal, Brenda. “Advances in Technology and Strategic Thinking.” Corrections Today (July 1, 1996).

—. “Bailing out Prison Libraries.” Library Journal 122, 19 (Nov 15, 1997): 35-37.***

—. Down for the Count: A Prison Library Handbook. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1995.

—.”Making prison libraries visible and accessible.” Corrections Today 56.2 (Apr. 1994).*

—. “Meeting Court Mandates: The CD-ROM Solution.” Corrections Today 57.7 (Dec. 1, 1995).***

—. The Prison Library Primer: A Program for the Twenty-First Century. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2009. *****

—. “Ready or Not, Computers are Here.” Corrections Today (Aug 1, 1995).***

—. “The Prison Law Library: From Print to CD-ROM.” Corrections Today (June 1, 1996).***

—. “Two Million on the Wrong Side of the Digital Divide.” Interface 30.1 (2008). **

— “In Preparation for a Visit to a Smaller Planet.” Wilson Library Bulletin 64 (October 1989): 34-36.***

— . Inmate Informational Needs Survey: Final Report. Baltimore, MD: Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Division of Correction, 1976. ***

Watson, Richard. Prison Libraries. London: The Library Association, 1951.*****

Werner , O. James. “Law Libraries for Correctional Facilities.” Library Trends 26.1 (Summer 1977): 71-96.***

Westwood, Karen. “Prison Law Librarianship: A Lesson in Service for all Librarians.” American Libraries 25. 2 (Feb 1994):152-4.***

Wildman, Lana. “Books Behind Bars.” The Illinois Library Association Reporter 20.4 (Aug 2002):1-4.***

Wilhelmus, David W. “A New Emphasis for Correctional Facilities’ Libraries.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 25.2 (1999): 114-20. **

Zybert, Elzbieta Barbara. “Prison Libraries in Poland: Partners in Rehabilitation, Culture, and Education.” Library Trends 59.3 (Winter 2011): 409-26.*****

Annotated bibliographies that helped to make list:

*= link

**= link

***= link

****= link or link

*****= link

******= link

*******= link

Journals with issues dedicated to prison librarianship:

[Listed by publication date, newest first.]


NY Metro Prison Librarians:

YouTube Channels

American Library Association

  • Doesn’t focus on prison librarianship, but may be of interest due to library videos in general

2 thoughts on “Prison Librarianship Resources

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