Sunday, March 8, 2009

Prison Librarianship as a Careeer

Every week I get emails from library school students asking questions about prison librarianship or working in a prison. I usually recommend:

Visit more than one prison because a single visit may be to a poorly run institution. How? Call the librarian at the prisons. My web site has a directory of prison libraries . The visit will also test your comfort level with having the gates clang shut behind you.

While in library school, arrange for an internship or do a project dealing with prison libraries.

Experience working in a public library is very useful for someone who is considering work in a prison Library. Why? As a one person manager in a prison library, you will have to answer a variety of complex questions, just like in a public library. You will be dealing with invididuals from a variety of education and social backgrounds, and you will be responsible for collection development, programs, reports, and all the security rules that go with working in a prison. It can be overwhelming if you have not had previous library experience

Read books on prison librarianship. My web site also has some articles:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The link to the directory of prison libraries leads nowhere. I'd like to have this resource. I volunteer with a charity that sends books free to prisoners, and we'd prefer to dontate directly to libraries.
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