Friday, May 6, 2016

Libraries and Prisons

Megan Hamby
INFO 266

Conrad, S. (2012). Collection development and circulation policies in prison libraries: An exploratory survey of librarians in US correctional institutions. Library Quarterly, 82(4), 407-427. Retrieved from

This article discusses libraries in prison systems and their collection development policies. The author conducted a survey of various prison libraries by asking the librarians questions about the collection policy, what types of books are allowed and the confidentiality of the prisoners who borrow the books. What I found interesting about this article was the types of books not allowed in the prison. It makes sense that books with content including violence, theft, murder and other aggressive forms would be banned because it could be seen by the prisoners in a glorifying light. The author mentioned a case in which a parolee was tried with murder and said the books he read were to blame. A list of these books were given to the jury. I believe that certain books should be banned from prison libraries and that these institutions should carry books that promote education and healthy learning, especially for those prisoners that are getting a degree while incarcerated which is something that happens quite often. 

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