Marsh and Austin win 2017 Baker & Taylor Collection Development Grants

I am pleased and excited to be a recipient of the 2017 Baker & Taylor Collection Development Grant.  Funding from this grant will go toward collection development for the existing library collection at Queer and Trans Youth Treehouse, an LGBTQ youth center that prioritizes youth of color.

More information about the award is available in this announcement from ALA.


The state-enforced detention of immigrant youth (and adults) has been one of the most difficult to numerically track.  Ranging from black-site prisons, such as Homan Square in Chicago, to indefinite immigration detention around the world, and peppered through-out by tails of three-strike laws forcing individuals to be placed in countries they have never personally known, imprisonment is the tool the state utilizes to shape experiences of immigration, belonging, and power.  For those looking to be better informed about standing with immigrants in the face of U.S. state violence the University of  Minnesota has created an Immigration Syllabus.

The syllabus covers migration, colonization, and more up to the present United States enactments of deportations, islamophobia, and analyses of walled separatism.

Archiving Prisons

I was recently asked about resources around archives, images, and prisons.  Here are three resources that address these topics.

Indiana University Women’s Prison History

A college-course for incarcerated women led to an unveiling of the history of an Indiana prison.  Women read historical texts through their own experience as a way of growing the archive and disturbing the history on the prison.  More on the course is available at Prison history assignment yields surprise, passion for research and a student publication is available at Women’s Prison History: The Undiscovered Country.

Prison Public Memory Project

The Prison Public Memory Project works to unearth histories and relate them to contemporary issues around incarceration and penal systems.  It includes archival photographs and records alongside new media and oral histories.

Prison Photography

Prison Photography is a collaborative effort to include recent and archival images of prisoners (I believe it is primarily focused on the United States).  Here is a highlighted project that disrupts the boundaries of time by including the notes of present-day prisoners on historical images – Vast Archive of 10,000 Negatives Unearthed at San Quentin

Dream Revisions – Section 6

As mentioned in this post, here is a revised version of Section 6 of the Standards.

6. Library Collection

6.1       The materials in the juvenile correctional library shall be selected to meet the educational, informational, recreational, career/vocational, entertainment, legal, technological and personal needs of its users.

6.1.1   To ensure that the materials meet these needs, the library shall have a printed collection development policy that defines the principles, purposes, and criteria to be considered in the selection and maintenance of library materials. These criteria should clearly advocate for youth access to library materials, including technology; In recognition of the statistics of populations held in juvenile detention centers, collection development policies should include representation of racial diversity and LGBTQ identities. The Library Bill of Rights, “Free Access to Libraries for Minors” shall be incorporated into this policy. This policy shall apply to gifts as well as to purchased items. The collection development policy statement shall include a clear procedure that details the process of objection to materials. This procedure will include information on issuing formal (written) objections, where materials under review will be held, and a timeline for meeting with a named committee to review materials as needed. The policy shall also include guidelines for the regular discarding and replacement of outdated, unused, and worn materials. The policy concerning items not allowed in the library will be outlined by a combination of library and juvenile correctional staff.

6.1.2   An array of materials selections publications (including standard library materials selection publications, awards, blogs, on-line communities, and publisher and self-publishing websites) shall be used to ensure that the collection meets the needs and desires of youth held in the center. Award-winning and otherwise notable materials will be included in the collection.

6.1.3   The library collection shall reflect and expand upon the needs, abilities, experiences, and current interests of youth held in the center. The library collection will contain information relevant to social and political occurrences, especially as they pertain to youth. Print materials will reflect the broad range of reading levels of youth held in the center. Technologies will be made available to youth. Technologies will be equipped with assistive hardware in order to meet the needs of youth who have reading, hearing, or other assistive needs. Collections will include materials that reflect the cultural, racial, and other identities of youth held in the center (including sexuality). Collections will include non-English materials to reflect the languages spoken and read by youth in the center. Librarians will have access to youth input regarding the library collection. This input may be provided through face-to-face interactions, requests for materials or types of materials, or surveys of the youth regarding their interests. Items in heavy demand shall be provided in multiple copies.

6.1.4    The library collection shall include but not be limited to materials that support school curriculum. Faculty and staff recommendations shall be considered when selecting library materials that support the curriculum.

6.1.5   The collection shall include legal reference materials which satisfy user needs and court mandates.

6.1.6    The collection shall include materials that address issues related to transition from the juvenile correctional facility to the larger community.

6.1.7   The collection shall include titles popular among youth, including high-interest low-vocabulary materials.

6.2   The library will include a variety of technologies, ephemera, and media related equipment in the library.

6.2.1   The library collection will, in negotiation with the juvenile correctional staff, reflect current developments in technologies (e.g. audiobooks and players, access to computers, a variety of software etc.).

6.2.2   Ephemera includes games, puzzles, kits, art objects, realia, comic books, magazines, etc.

6.2.3    Equipment: The library will have sufficient equipment to meet the needs of its users to utilize the media collection.

6.3       Reference collection: Each library shall have a reference collection of sufficient size and scope to meet the reference needs and desires of residents and staff and to support curriculum-related research.

6.3.1    The minimum reference collection shall include materials published within the last five years in the following categories:

  • One set of encyclopedias;
  • Two general almanacs;
  • Twelve dictionaries (including dictionaries in languages other than English, quotations, biographical dictionaries, thesauri, and other dictionaries related to the needs and desires of youth and juvenile correctional staff);
  • Two world atlases and one road atlas;
  • Five books related to the juvenile correctional system and navigating this system;
  • One medical encyclopedia;
  • One world record book;
  • Three GED study guides;
  • Three current college directories and three current vocational/technical school directory);
  • Information on services provided by community organizations.
  • Information related to media, music, and art, including their production.