Publications on Jail and Prison Libraries, 1992-Present

I have been conducting a literature review of publication on American jail and prison libraries as a follow-up to the timeline of library services to incarcerated people.  The list below, while potentially not comprehensive, includes publications on this topic from 1992 through the present.

About the list: I prioritized peer-reviewed articles while assembling this list, but did include a few instances of more popular texts.  Two special issues on this topic appeared in the time frame examined (a special issue of Education Librarian in 2000 and a special issue of Library Trends on Library and Information Services to Incarcerated Persons: Global Perspectives in 2011).  The list also includes books, briefs, and chapters, all marked with an *.  All items are listed in chronological order.  (Please note: this list does not contain publications on library services in juvenile detention centers or publications that are primarily personal accounts written by librarians in jails and prisons.)

Please feel free to contact me if you notice there is something I’ve missed!

Continue reading “Publications on Jail and Prison Libraries, 1992-Present”

Timeline of Library Services to Incarcerated People

Note: Please see the revised timeline in my chapter on Carceral Histories in the United States.

Timeline image

I’ve created a timeline of library services to incarcerated people beginning with the first library committee on the topic that I could locate (1911) through the creation of ALA’s most recent version of the standards for service to correctional institutions (1992).  You can access the work in progress at

Library Services to Incarcerated People_ 1911-1992

Open Access Article: Information Provision and the Carceral State

The Reference Librarian and Taylor & Francis will be providing free access to the article I recently published with Dr. Melissa Villa-Nicholas.  You can access the article at through December 31, 2019.

Title:  Information Provision and the Carceral State: Race and Reference beyond the Idea of the “Underserved”

Abstract: This article addresses an approach to library services for people who are incarcerated that meets the situated information needs and desires of people within jails and prisons. By creating a flow of information between LIS students and individuals who are incarcerated through a Reference by Mail program, resources available to incarcerated people are increased while students engage in a humanizing and self-reflexive project, with the understanding that the regulation of information within jails and prisons has lasting effects for the life chances of incarcerated people.