Monthly Meetings with IDOC Library Staff
Starting in October of 2022, the Correctional Library Support Program has been facilitating monthly virtual meetings for the librarians and library facility staff in IDOC facilities.
Past topics include:
Past topics include:
- Book clubs
- Programming in maximum security settings
- How to build your library's collection when you have no budget
- Guest speaker Liz Abraham from the 3R's (Reading Reduces Recidivism)
- The accidental law librarian
- Guest speakers Amy Clark and Jerome White from Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO)
- Higher education in prison
- Guest speakers Flor Esquivel and Tony Pizzaro from the Illinois Coalition of Higher Education in Prison (IL-CHEP)
- Medical care in facilities
- Guest speaker Dawn DeFraties from SIU SOM Office of Correctional Medicine
- Building a medical reference collection
- Guest speaker Nora St. Peter, medical librarian at Northwestern Medicine
- Information professionals working with incarcerated individuals and latest projects
- Guest speaker Dr. Jeanie Austin spoke on their background as well as projects they have been able to work on via the Mellon grant and resources for information professionals working with incarcerated individuals
- Author visit
- Inside / Out writers Charisse Fletcher and Tony Pizarro talked to us about their book
- Navigating the workplace
- Managment expert and University of Illinois Professor Benjamin Mead-Harvey spoke to the group about the philosophy of Positive Intent
- Correctional librarians from Washington
- Four correctional librarians from the state of Washington talked with the group about working in a facility in Washington and services they provide in their facilities and the LibGuide project they are working on to help correctional librarians in the U.S.
Book Donations to the Facilities
The Correctional Library Support Program has an ongoing effort to collect book donations for Illinois facilities.
- We donated 100 books in 2022.
- As of August 2023, we have donated 100 books to facilities including medical reference, graphic novels and fiction.
Programs at Facilites
CLSP is actively working with IDOC librarians to design and implement library programs at facilities.
Programs and Projects
- "Justice Involved to Library Involved" poster session presented at the Illinois Library Association Conference
- Classical music concert scheduled for Dec. 29th at Kewanee Life Skills Re-entry Center
- Classical music concert given by the Ostrega/Uhl Project at Kewanee Life Skills Re-entry Center on July 14, 2023
- A write-up about the concert can be accessed in the Kewanee Horizons newsletter here
- Halloween bookclub at Kewanee Life Skills Re-entry Center
- Bookclub at the Sheridan Correctional Center. What we have read so far:
- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Wager by David Grann. Currently reading Tides of Fire by James Rollins (Dec. 2023)
- Book club at Cook County Jail (pre Covid)
- Poetry slams
- Booklet from a 2017 program (at Cook County Jail)