Libraries and incarcerated youth: Conference programs from ASCLA

ASCLA is hosting two programs focused on library services to incarcerated youth. Join us for one or both of these exciting events and get “outside of the (library services) box” to get a new perspective on the importance of libraries, and their role as a lifeline for incarcerated youth.

Arts + School Libraries Inside

Saturday, June 29, 2013 – 4:30pm to 5:30pm

Scheduled for McCormick Place Room N427d. Check the event listing in the scheduler for the most up-to-date information.

This program will explore the ways in which school libraries serving incarcerated and detained youth incorporate the arts. Strategies presented will include: partnerships with arts organizations, partnerships with non-profits, instructional collaboration with art teachers, collection development, programming, and professional development. This presentation will also include examples of student work and project outcomes.

Speakers: Claudio Leon, Library Assistant / Instructional Technology Specialist, Passages Academy and Regan Schwartz, School Librarian, Passages Academy

Tour: Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and Library

Monday, July 1

Separate event registration required! Details below.

Want to find out more about the world of juvenile corrections & juvenile correctional librarianship in general? Are you already working in the field, and interested in seeing how another juvenile correctional facility library operates?  ASCLA and Library Services for Youth in Custody (LSYC) are co-sponsoring and hosting a Juvenile Detention Facility Tour at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and its library on Monday, July 1st, from 8:45am-12:30pm.

The Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and its library, operated by Nancy B. Jefferson Alternative School, are located on the west side of Chicago. Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center is one of the largest youth detention centers in the country. The school and library are operated by Chicago Public Schools and the library is staffed by a full-time, certified school library media specialist. Megan Cusick, Nancy B. Jefferson school librarian, and Camden Tadhg, logistics team chair of LSYC, will be running the tour.


Tour questions? Contact Camden at

Prison Librarians @ Annual Conference: Interest group meetings moved to Sunday morning

NEW DATE, TIME & LOCATION at ALA Annual Conference!! ASCLA’s two interest groups for prison librarians will now be meeting Sunday, June 24, 8-10a.m. in the Palm East room of the Sheraton Park Hotel.

The Library Services to the Incarcerated and Detained Interest Group and the Library Services for Youth in Custody Interest Group will meet together during this time. This session is an opportunity for open discussion among librarians and staff who serve–or want to serve–adults and youth who are incarcerated or detained. LSYC agenda includes new resources, review and award program, sharing of ideas and resources. LSID agenda includes future leadership and work products, sharing of ideas and resources.  The groups are co-hosting a tour of a local juvenile detention facility on the afternoon of Monday, June 25–learn more here (scroll to the bottom of the page) and register by June 5!

Other prison library-related programs and events in Anaheim:

PRECONFERENCE: The Nuts & Bolts of Building a Public Library/Jail/Prison Partnership
Friday, June 22, 8:00a.m.-12:00p.m.

Hear from speakers who’ve successfully built public library/correctional setting partnerships, and learn how to build these kinds of relationships step-by-step. Public librarians and correctional librarians interested in creating literacy and reading program partnerships for youth in detention centers and adults in jails or prisons will not want to miss this half-day workshop that will cover such difficult issues of collection development, security, and staff interactions.
Registration Rates: ASCLA members, $129; ALA members, $149; non-members, $169; Student and Retired ALA members, $109.
Who should attend: Public librarians and correctional librarians interested on creating literacy and reading program partnerships for youth and adults in jails or prisons.


  • Kathleen Houlihan, youth outreach librarian, Austin Public Library, Second Change Books
  • Amy Cheney, Alameda County Library, Write to Read program Juvenile Hall Literacy


Writing a Way Out: The Success of Writing Programs in Correctional Settings
Saturday, 8:00-10:00
Writing programs in correctional settings have produced dramatic results for those who experience them. This program will include successful inmate writers, program instructors and correctional librarians who manage or assist in the programs. Speakers: R. Dwayne Betts, Perry Gaidurgis

Touching Literacy:  iPads in the School Library Serving Incarcerated and Detained Youth
Sunday, 1:30-3:30p.m.
Are tablets available to your patrons yet? This program introduces you to three library staffers and their project to bring iPads to school libraries serving detained youth in New York City.  We will examine the practical “how to’s” of technology pilots; the process of collaborating with multiple institutions; and maintenance, marketing, funding and collection development for tablets. This session will appeal to all librarians who have not yet integrated tablets or e-readers into their libraries. Speakers: Jessica Fenster-Sparber, Anja Kennedy, Claudio Leon

Webinar registration ends today! “Programming for Detained and Incarcerated Youth”

Today (Tuesday) is the last day to sign up for Thursday’s ASCLA webinar, “Libraries for Detained and Incarcerated Youth 101: Programming for Detained and Incarcerated Youth”.

The webinar will be held Thursday, April 26, 2012, 12-1:30 p.m. CT. We will be recording the webinar, so if you can’t attend at this specific time, register and we’ll send you a link afterwards to rewatch it.


ABOUT THIS WEBINAR: Library environments for detained, pending placement, or incarcerated youth are different than the typical public or school library and library professionals serving them often find themselves in situations that are completely different than anything for which they are prepared. As part of a series of webinars focusing on the needs of these youth, this session will look at programming for detained and incarcerated youth. This session will be recorded and will be available to paid registrants to rewatch at their convenience!

Individual registration starts at $40 for ASCLA members.
We do offer group registration rates: $99 for a single login, and $38/person for multiple logins.
More information is at the ASCLA online learning page.

QUESTIONS? Contact the ALA Registration team at or (800) 545-2433, option 5.

**Interested in library services to incarcerated youth and adults?**
ASCLA welcomes participation in its two interest groups:

ASCLA Library Services for Youth in Custody Interest Group
ASCLA Library Services to the Incarcerated and Detained Interest Group

As a member of these groups, you can engage with peers on a variety of activities and issues related to these areas of library service. Simply log into ALA Connect, access each group using the hyperlinks above, and click “Join” on the right side of the page to get on board!