Thursday, May 7, 2009

Games Criminals Play

So you are contemplating a career in prison librarianship. Great. I hope you are not doing this out of missionary zeal- helping those poor unfortunate disadvantaged prisoners. As a prison librarian you will be providing for the information, educational, and leisure reading needs of your users, just like you would in a public library setting.

Some of us are not prepared and have difficulty in dealing with the rigidities, inflexibility, and vagaries of the prison bureacracy. We librarians have a culture of sharing and helping our patrons. Sometimes the security staff are suspicious of our work. A worthwhile book to read is , GAMES CRIMINALS PLAY: HOW YOU CAN PROFIT BY KNOWING THEM, by Bud Allen and Diana Bosta. You can find it on Amazon. It has all kinds of scenarios, some extreme, but it prepares you for working in a prison environment. Read the customers' reviews on Amazon as well.

MacCreaigh and Clark describe some inmate profiles in: Library Services To The Incarcerated: Applying the Public Library Model In Correctional Facility Libraries. These librarians who work in prisons describe the following categories of inmates: The Bully, The Romeo, The Suck-up, The Brown Noser, The Pod Father or Mother. I have encountered everyone of the types they describe. Did I leave out the Jailhouse Lawyer?

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