Thursday, August 7, 2008

Prison librarians

L. Standing. June Brittingham (ECIW), Glennor, Grace Schroeder(JCI),Mary Huebner,(NBCI) Mary Stevanus( MCIH, Charlie Albright(WCI), Liam kennedy(ECIE)
L back) Jean Charbonneau (mobile librarian), Jamar Young( computer tech), June Brittingham, Mary Stevanus,Grace SchroederFront: Lucy Berry (MCIW), Ruth Mewborn( MTC), Glennor Shirley, Beverly Bowles(Technology manager, Shirley Smith(clowning as usual) Nancy Liss(MCIJ)

Maryland Correctional Librarians get together on staff day when all correctional education staff gather for professional development. Outside the prisons, some librarians clown around saying that they are out on short term parole. The day provides an opportunity for networking, reducing the professional isolation for one day. Prison Librarians work as one person managers doing collection management, reference questions, supervising inmate workers, training inmates to use the databases, doing programs, and coping each day with the often arbitrary restrictions of the security staff. Inmates trust the librarians to help them find information and to get the books they like. Losses and behaviors are no different from what I encountered when I worked in public libraries. The advantage of working in the prison is that security staff are around to instantly address negative behaviors. For a list of the libraries and librarians see the Maryland Correctional Education Libraries website.

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