Recent Juvenile Detention Resources

At one point, there was a proliferation of activity undertaken by librarians working with incarcerated youth, some of which is represented in the Library Services for Youth in Custody website in the Internet Archive, and the continuing In the Margins book award.

While engagement with this area of library service seems to have diminished, there are still great–and recent–materials available to support librarians beginning these services.

Two recent publications I’ve come across are Jess Snow’s Outreach Services for Teens: A Starter Guide (ALA, 2020), which contains example related to beginning and continuing library services in a juvenile detention and Kristin Zeluff’s chapter titled “Collection development policies in juvenile detention center libraries” in Dawkins’ Intellectual Freedom Issues in School Libraries (ABC-CLIO, 2021).

It’s exciting to see that librarians are still thinking deeply about these services!

Banned Books Week

From PEN America: “Over the course of the past year, PEN America’s Right to Read in American Prisons Project focused on ways prisons and jails across the country restricted access to literature and educational materials through book censorship and state book ban lists. During PEN America’s recognition of Banned Books Week, we are excited to share several essays written by incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and allied people on the crucial role of books in their lives.”

The series is available at

Augusta Baker Lecture

It was an honor to be this year’s Augusta Baker lecturer, and to have my work set within her tradition of advocacy and truth-telling. Her lifelong commitment to Black representation invited Library Science to reflect on its own shortcomings while also building resources, practices, and spaces for real people along the way. I hope that my own efforts can follow her lead in making actual change in the world, and can truly increase library services and information access within carceral facilities.

Here is a recording of my lecture–

My slides and a few other resources, along with the recording, are available here.

I am extremely grateful to Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair at the University of South Carolina, for inviting me, the coordination and events team at USC who have made this event possible (go #TeamBaker!), and the staff at ALA Editions for their promotion of this event.