Thursday, February 2, 2017

In A Place of Monotony and Despair

I now have my copy the book,  ADVANCES IN LIBRARIANSHIP, edited by University of Maryland iSchool, that includes a chapter  I wrote about Maryland prison library services.  The Title is from a letter I received from a prison library user, thanking me for information services.  His letter began with the words. In A Place of Monotony and Despair...

Friday, October 21, 2016

Formerly Incarcerarted Chris Wilson

Great to see how libraries help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals.  Recently, I attended an event in Baltimore where a panelist of successful individuals shared their stories. One panelists was Chris Wilson who  was incarcerated at age 17, spent 16 years in the Maryland prison system, and shared how he used the prison library constantly.  Now back in the community, he is using the skills learned in prison  to maintain his business, Barclay Investment Corporation.   Second Life details his life story to date.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Formerly Incarcerated and Voting

The 2016 election campaign drama reminds me of what I used to tell the prisoners when they said their family  did not vote since their social situations never changed - no matter who won the election.  I would respond that if their family members did not vote, then   the voters would always be the winners. I  urged them to encourage family members to vote because that at least meant they had a seat at the table, even if  sometimes their party of choice did not win.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Enoch Pratt Free Library Writers Live

It was a real pleasure this Wednesday to introduce EPFL Writers Live Guest speaker, Mikita Brottman, author of,  Maximum Security Book Club:Reading Literature in a Men's Prison. After the presentation that was held at the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Baynard Woods, of the City Paper, moderated a lively discussion with Mikita, Vince, one of the original participants in the book club, and the audience. Baynard visited and reported on one of Mikita’s sessions in 2014. 

Vince, Baynard, Glennor, Mikita

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Maximum Security Bookclub

I have just finished reading Mikita Brottman's recently published book: Maximum Security Book Club:Reading Literature in a Men's Prison. Her honesty in describing the behaviors and reactions of the 9 men who participated in her book club at the Jessup Correctional Institute throws more light on the life of those confined to prisons, not only in Maryland but in the United States.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

• America’s Slave Empire

·        America’s Slave Empire Posted on Jun 21, 2015 By Chris Hedges's slave Empire

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Anonymous Donor

Acting as intermediary for a generous donor, this week I purchased and delivered over $1800.00 worth of new books to Maryland Transition Center, that was  known at Maryland Penitentiary when I worked in the prison system. I bought books on self-help, job interview techniques, fund source to start your own business, gardening, landscaping, family relations, and some leisure reading for the inmates who are transitioning back to society. Sheer pleasure for me to purchase, than to sort through donated books from well meaning persons who "cant bear to throw books away" so they clear out their deceased ancestors book shelves to donate to the "poor prisoners" then ask for receipts for tax purposes.

We should bear in mind that if we do not prepare inmates for reentry, the recidivism rate is higher, and we as tax payers pay a higher price.

Entrance to MTC- MRDCC on Right.  Inmates get classified and sent to prison from MRDCC

Unloading books with the help of inmates
L to R): MTC  Warden Solomon Hejirika; former librarian Glennor Shirley; Asst. Warden Dionne Randolph; Chief of Security Linda E. Cottie.

Inmates taking  donated books  into the  institution