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NCJ Number: 201272 Find in a Library
Title: Correctional Libraries, Library Standards, and Diversity
Journal: Journal of Correctional Education  Volume:54  Issue:2  Dated:June 2003  Pages:70-74
Author(s): Glennor L. Shirley M.A.S
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 5
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: To determine how correctional libraries perform in areas of service, programs, and collections, an online questionnaire was sent to 110 librarians listed in the Directory of State Prison Librarians who had e-mail addresses.
Abstract: Questions were designed to determine the racial breakdown of the inmate population, inmate library clerk, and the librarian; characteristics of the library collection; criteria for collection development; communication and racial conflicts; cultural programs; and satisfaction level. A total of 35 responses were received from librarians in 12 States. The responses indicate that although the prison community is a microcosm of the wider society with an increasingly diverse population, the library staff remains predominantly European-American. Although library services vary from prison to prison and State to State, correctional librarians operate services based on acceptable services outlined in Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions. The standards define full library services as meeting the informational, cultural, educational, vocational, and recreational needs of its users. Steps for implementing these standards include analyzing demographics of library users and determining other services and programs available in the institution. Although the survey indicates that most prison librarians aspire to operate under the same model as public libraries, in practice this is difficult because of the restrictions imposed by prison administration. Factors that impede library services include stringent security measures, budget limitations, inadequate staffing, little professional support for libraries, and lack of funding for librarians to pursue courses in professional development. Some implications of these survey findings are discussed. 11 tables and 11 references
Main Term(s): Corrections education
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Ethnic groups; Inmate academic education; Prison libraries; Teaching/training techniques
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