Expanding Information Access for Incarcerated People Initiative

Providing library services to incarcerated individuals
Graphic of a mind outline filled with shelves of colorful books

Expanding Information Access for Incarcerated People is an initiative based in San Francisco Public Library’s (SFPL) Jail and Reentry Services program, in coordination with the American Library Association (ALA). This project exists to locate library services to incarcerated people and to support the development of new services. It is made possible by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation.

More information about the grant is available in an ALA press release, from the Mellon Foundation, and on SPFL's website.

PROJECT OUTCOMES

New Standards for Library Services for the Incarcerated and Detained

Interactive digital map of library services for incarcerated people

Publicly available professional development video series

White paper on digital literacy

Revisioning Standards for Library Services for the Incarcerated and Detained

Graphic of open book on red circle

In 2021, a task force of correctional library workers and other institutional stakeholders headed by ODLOS began work on a massive reimagining of the American Library Association’s 1992 Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions.

The new Standards will heed the current phenomenon of mass incarceration, the inequitable incarceration rates of BIPOC individuals, and the rising rates of incarceration of women (especially women of color). It will pay special attention to the incarceration of LGBTQIA+ individuals, undocumented individuals, and youth, as well as to the information needs of returning individuals.

Learn More



Where are library services for incarcerated people located, and where are they needed?

(NOTE: This map may not load in Firefox. Please click through to the larger map or use another browser if you are experiencing issues viewing the map.)

If your library provides library services to incarcerated people that aren’t represented on the map, let us know.

See the full map

Jody Redifer with a student during studio time at the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center

Library Services and Incarceration Video Series

This series features information from formerly incarcerated people alongside professionals providing library services for incarcerated people. It covers a range of topics relevant to the field.

ALA provides free-of-charge professional development credit for viewing the videos in this series. ALA eLearning (ala.org user account required).

Graphic of a ladder ascending a stack of books in front of a blue sky

Library Services for the Justice Involved

Library Services for the Justice Involved (LSJI) is an interest group for library professionals, students, correctional staff, volunteers, or anyone who serves the underserved in correctional settings (prison, jail, detention centers, state mental health institutes, juvenile facilities) or justice-involved individuals (those in halfway houses, community corrections, sober living, transitional housing, on parole, or the formerly incarcerated).

Mellon