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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Uncommon Services: Public Library Services to Incarcerated Populations

  • Author(s): Klick, Lindsay RS
  • et al.

Public libraries have long been devoted to reaching out to underserved populations within their communities. Outreach to local correctional facilities is one type of outreach that has not been fully embraced by the public library community. This paper has three aims: 1)to assess the current state of public library outreach to correctional institutions in California; 2) to outline the current state of information service in correctional facilities and demonstrate how public libraries and the communities they serve have a vested interest in serving local detainees; and 3) to highlight three model programs which show how partnerships between public libraries and correctional institutions can have far reaching benefits beyond the walls of the respective institutions. These three subjects taken together should serve as a call to action to broaden the notion of the public library’s service area to include people who are incarcerated in their community.

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