Call for Submissions: Rethinking Prisons Conference 2013

Here is a call for submissions to a conference that might be of interest:

The Rethinking Prisons Conference 2013 will be held May 3 – 5, at Vanderbilt University,  in Nashville Tennessee.

This link brings you to their submission information.

At their conference, they aim to “The conference seeks to foster conversations between activists and scholars who share common concerns and bring different knowledge, methods, strategies and experience to the table” and  have the following points included in presentations and conversations:

(1) Intersections between the work of prison activists and research in political, literary, legal and social theory.
(2) Challenges faced by an activists seeking transformational alternatives to the U.S. prison system
(3) The promise and shortcomings of present death penalty and solitary confinement legislation
(4) The intersections of the U.S. prison system with race, gender, class, and sexuality.
(5) The intersections of the U.S. prison system with politics.

This conference is the final event of Vanderbilt University’s Department of Philosophy’s A Year of Rethinking Prisons, “an interdisciplinary series of events dedicated to rethinking criminality, incarceration, and state execution.”

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New Section in the Reading List

A new section was added to the “Reading List” tab to reflect journals that have specific issues released that focus on prison librarianship or the PIC.

Resources are listed by publication date.

This section is located at the bottom of the “Reading List” tab and what has been newly added is below.

Journals with issues dedicated to prison librarianship or PIC:

  • Library Trends  – Winter 2011 – Vol. 59 No. 3 – “Library and Information Services to Incarcerated Persons: Global Perspectives”
  • Radical Teacher – 2010 – No. 88 – “Teaching Against the Prison Industrial Complex”
  • Genre – Fall/Winter 2002 – Vol. 35 No. 3-4 – “Prisoners Writing” (is edited by Megan Sweeney)
  • Library Trends – Summer 1977 -Vol. 26 No. 1 – “Library Services to Correctional Facilities”
  • Library Association Pamphlet: Watson, Richard. Prison Libraries. London, 1951.

Thoughts from the Feminism in Library and Information Science Un-Conference

I spent this last weekend surrounded by beautiful, strong, brilliant, feminist librarians at the Feminism and Library Science Unconfrence.

Here are some of the highlights I’m going to keep in mind especially regarding prison library work:

  • Question your motives and explore reasons behind your interest in your work and projects by having an internal dialogue – ask yourself “What are my motivations behind my actions and interest in this?”
  • If there are bans on library books or policies that affect patrons ability to fulfill their information needs, we, as radical librarians, need to tell our patrons about these policies and where one can access what they are looking for outside their library. As prison librarians, this could mean ensuring patrons have access to a books to prisoners organization that they can request books from via the mail if it is not in conflict with the said policy.
  • When assessing the needs of a community, your report cannot be solely  a deficit report; highlight the community’s strengths and accomplishments.
  • Even though librarians might fear that / feel like they are becoming institutionalized by their employer, remember that librarianship is a form of subversive infiltration.
  • Libraries stand for openness, learning, potential, and success; prison is about confinement, control, surveillance, and being kept. So, what does it mean to have a library in a prison?

If you are interested in more about the conference or viewing resources and readings in Feminism in LIS, visit the Unconference’s wiki. You can also view the twitter feed from the unconference at #feminismLIS.