Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Banned Books in Prison — Annoyed Librarian


There’s a news article about prison libraries that makes me wonder what stance the ALA would take on the matter.

In almost all ways it’s an exemplary tale of how New York
city libraries are trying to provide library service to the local prison
populations. This is a great thing to do unless the goal of prison is
merely to provide prisoners with unrelieved misery.

And given the amount of time prisoners have on their hands,
reading is a popular activity. The main problem is a lack of books and
service.

For example, at the prison the Brooklyn Public Library is
working with, the “library” consists of a cart that can hold 2-300
books, which is wheeled around like the meal and medicine carts.

That at least implies that reading material is as essential
to life as food and medicine, which I suspect many librarians would
agree with. However, a wheeled cart is hardly like a decently stocked
library that prisoners can browse. It’s even worse than a bookmobile. Read more...
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