Article: “Cell Service: Inside the World of Prison Librarians,” by Jake Rossen, January 11, 2018, at Mental Floss dot com:
‘…. The escapism afforded by the books can dilute the urge to pass time by engaging in criminal behavior. Libraries can even prepare prisoners for reentry into society after release, arming them with knowledge to pursue careers.
That ambition is what prompts graduates with degrees in library science to take detours—some temporary, others permanent—into managing books behind bars. Like public librarians, Hart organized book clubs, wrangled donations, and set up a shelf full of recommended reading. Unlike his public counterparts, Hart also had to take self-defense courses, check returned books for blood stains, and remain mindful of attempts to manipulate the privileges the library offered.
“You can be friendly,” he says of his interactions with inmates, “but you can’t be friends.”…. ‘[Link to full article at Mental Floss.]
And contrast the above with this New York Times article:
“To Make Prisons ‘Safer,’ Some Are Banning . . . Books,” by Tariro Mzezwajan, NYT, January 12, 2018