Jeanie Austin. Library Services and Incarceration: Recognizing Barriers, Strengthening Access. Chicago, IL: ALA Neal-Schuman, 2021. 208p. Paper, $54.99 (ISBN 978-0-8389-4945-0).

Megan Riley


The ongoing crisis of mass incarceration and racialized, violent policing in the United States touches more aspects of our daily lives than many realize, and libraries are no exception. Library furniture built by exploited prison labor, book and information censorship, reference by mail requests, police presence in libraries as security, re-entry services for formerly incarcerated community members: these are just a small handful of the ways in which libraries and library workers are integrated into the carceral system in the United States. People experiencing incarceration are often marginalized or entirely omitted from discussions of censorship, both in popular and professional discourse, and library services for incarcerated people rarely make more than a brief appearance in LIS school curricula. There has never been a better time to correct these concerns.

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