Incarcerated Patrons
Kristi Kenney, 2022 Showcase

LibGuide: Incarcerated Patrons

Incarcerated Patrons: A resource guide for librarians who work with people who are incarcerated, formerly-incarcerated, justice-involved, or system-impacted, with a focus on California. This guide is intended to be useful for public librarians who want to work with currently incarcerated people in their communities as well as people who are recently released or justice-involved in some way. The guide may also be useful to patrons themselves or possibly to prison librarians looking for further resources for their patrons. The resources found here include books, articles, and community resources. Programs already being offered at public libraries are highlighted, as are educational resources and technology issues in prison. One of the most interesting pages for librarians who are new to working with incarcerated people might be the “Requested by Inmates” page which outlines some of the frequent information needs and reading interests of people who are incarcerated. There is currently interest in the library field in serving system impacted communities. Providing access to all is a social justice issue. Public librarians can and should consider people who are incarcerated to be part of their patron base. Since LibGuides are not readily available to currently incarcerated people due to technology restrictions, this guide hopes to inform librarians of resources to better serve those that are justice-involved.

Kristi Kenney

Kristi Kenney: “My background is working with activist communities and running independent bookstores. I have a BA and MA in Psychology. I’m coming to the MLIS program later in life and have focused much of my work on prisoner access issues. I have volunteered with Books to Prisoners programs and have seen how hard it is for incarcerated people to get books and information so I started looking into that in my first course at the iSchool. I’ve recently started a non-profit called Friends of the San Quentin Library with one of the San Quentin Librarians. I was inspired to do this based on the work I’ve done at the iSchool and my volunteer work with the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library. Public libraries have Friends groups that support their needs, why don’t prison libraries? I lived in Seattle for over 30 years, and have been in Berkeley for over 10. I am mom to an almost 10 year-old named Fern.”