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Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions Am. Library Ass'n 1992

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.LIBRARY STANDARDS
FOR

ADULT CORRECTIONAL
INSTITUTIONS

1992

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LIBRARY STANDARDS
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FOR

ADULT CORRECTIONAL
INSTITUTIONS
.. 1992 .

Prepared by
THE ASSOCIATION OF SPECIAUZED AND
COOPERATIVE LIBRARY AGENCIES
a division of the
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

American Library Association
Chicago 1992

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ISBN 0-8389-7583-6
Copyright © 1992 by the American Library Association. All rights reserved except those
which may be granted by Sections 107 and 108 of the Copyright Revision Act of 1976.

Printed in the United States of America.

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
FOREWORD

1-9

INTRODUCTION

PHILOSOPHY

.. .. ..... . . ...... ... ....•..•........... . ....................... 10

STANDARDS

......• . ..... ...... ...... ........... ... ..................... 11 - 24

1.0

ACCESS ...................... . .......•...•.................. 11 - 12

2.0

ADMINISTRATION

3.0

STAFFING

4.0

BUDGET

5.0

FACILI1Y ....................•............................... 18 - 20

6.0

SERVICES

7.0

UBRARY MATERIALS

. . . . . . . . . . . . • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

................................................... 14 - 16
..... .................................................. 17

............ .. ..................... ....... ......... 21 - 22
...................•.................... 23 - 24

SUMMARY OF KEY FIGURES .... . ....................................... . ..... 25 - 26

APPENDIX

A.

LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS, ALA, 1980

B.

RESOLUTION ON PRISONERS RIGHT TO
READ, ALA, 1982 . . . . . . . . • . . . . • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

C.

POUCY ON CONFIDEI'Ili.ALITY OF
LIBRARY RECORDS, ALA, 1986 ....... ... . . ....................... .. 29

D.

FREEDOM TO READ STATEMENT, ALA, 1972 ..................... 30- 33

E.

FREEDOM TO VIEW, ALA, 1979 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • . . . • 34

F.

NATIONAL PRISON LIBRARY SURVEY, 1990 .....•.............. . . 35 - 43

G.

ROLE SELECTION AND OUTPUT MEASURES

BIBUOGRAPHY

.............................• 27

........... .. ........ 44 - 45

................ . ..................•.•........... • .......... 46 - 47

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

FOREWORD
This edition of "Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions" was preceded by

"Objectives and Standards for Libraries in Adult Prisons and Reformatories. 11 Approved
in 1944 by both the American Prison Association, now known as the American
Correctional Association (ACA), and the American Library Association (ALA), it was
published in 1950 by the American Prison Association in the Library Manual for
Correctional Institutions. In 1962, ACA published "Objectives and Standards for Libraries
in Correctional Institutions. 11 This document was reviewed and revised in 1966 by both
ACA and ALA and published in A Manual of Correctional Standards. Replaced in 1981
with a new document entitled Librmy Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions, it was
published by ALA in cooperation with ACA. In 1987, the Standards Review Committee of
the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of
the American Library Association, assigned the responsibility for . revising the 1981
document to the Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions Ad Hoc
Subcommittee. The current document is the result of the work of the following
Subcommittee members and their colleagues nationwide:
Chairperson
Ann L. Piascik, Institutional Library Consultant
Rhode Island Department of State Library Services

Catharine Cook, Director
Public Library of Enid and Garfield County, Oklahoma
Dr. Jay M. Ihrig, Education Bureau Chief
New Mexico Department of Corrections
Philip L. Koons, Institutions Consultant
State Library of Ohio
Vibeke Lehmann, Institution Library Coordinator
Wisconsin Department of Corrections
Rosalina Palladino, Senior Librarian
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, New York
Rhea J. Rubin, Consultant
Oakland, California
Sandra J. Souza, Grants Manager
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
Daniel S. Suvak, Director
Walsh College Library, Ohio

Library Standards for Aduh Correctional Institutions 1992

INTRODUCTION
PURPOSE.
The objective of this document is to provide a tool for the planning,
implementation, and evaluation of general library services in adult correctional institutions.
It may also be used as a guide to define an acceptable level of library service.
NEED.
The latter years of the 1980's saw a tremendous growth in the number of
correctional institutions constructed in the United States. With each new facility came the
potential for the establishment of library service within the correctional community. The
burgeoning rate of incarceration taxed already overcrowded facilities and placed greater
demands on library programs. While correctional librarians struggled with the development
of programs in these new facilities, the demand for services increased due to inmate
population growth. Meanwhile, the world of libraries and information science was changing
rapidly. The information explosion and the inmate population increase in the 1980's made
the 1981 library standards document less relevant to current conditions. As a result,
librarians working in correctional institutions requested a revision of this document to reflect
the new technologies, the changing role of libraries, and the role of the librarian in
developing library service in correctional institutions.
The correctional librarian, often a one-person manager in a community otherwise isolated
from library and information science, relies heavily on professional association standards
as guidance, as model and as legitimization for program development and service delivery.
Likewise, the correctional administrator using professional standards finds support in
planning for the capital investment necessary for service, the staffing requirements of the
program, and short and long term substantiation for budget requests.
SCOPE. These standards delineate elements which are necessary for the provision of
acceptable library service in state and federal adult correctional institutions. Terms used
for these institutions vary from system to system; namely, prisons, penitentiaries,
classification and reception centers, correctional institutions, treatment centers, prerelease
units, work camps, boot camps, shock incarceration centers, and others.
They are not written for pre-trial facilities or other types of facilities operated by local
governments such as jails and detention centers. Although the principles and concepts set
forth are applicable to these facilities, separate information and specific standards for
facilities of this type are available from ASCLA.
These standards are also not written for facilities with fewer than 300 inmates because of
the great diversity in operational methods used in small institutions. Contracting with a
library agency such as the local public library, regional library system, or state library agency
is encouraged for institutions of this size. Another option is a circuit or regional librarian
who provides direct services in more than one institution and reports to the statewide

Libnty Standards for Aduk Correctional Institutions 1992

Page 1

coordinator of correctional library services.
Lastly, these standards do not cover law libraries or staff libraries. Where staff library
services are provided to furnish professional materials for the continuing education of
institutional staff, such library should be funded, housed, and staffed separately from the
inmate general library discussed. in this document.
Where law library services are provided for court access, such library shall be funded and
staffed separately from the inmate general library discussed in this document. The law
library collection may be selected according to the latest edition of "Recommended
Collections for Prison and Other Institution Law Libraries" published by the American
Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and guidelines established by each state or mandated
by court orders.
AUDIENCE. These standards are addressed to all individuals involved in adult corrections,
in particular to officials and staff of federal and state agencies and ·organizations
responsible for the incarceration of adult inmates, to administrators and staff of adult
correctional institutions, and to librarians both within the institutional community and those
serving the institutional community through networks. In addition, these standards are also
written for other professionals and consultants employed by correctional agencies such as
contractors, planners, and architects.
METIIODOLOGY.
The Subcommittee's charge was to revise the 1981 edition of the
standards and to examine these earlier standards with a view towards alteration, if warranted
by contemporary practice and theory.
The Subcommittee began its task by searching the literature for all relevant standards,
policies, and procedures available on state· and federal levels, and collecting standards
documents developed for other types of libraries.
Two research projects were undertaken to assure that the quantitative measures of the
standards were based on actual practice. The Subcommittee designed and distributed the
"National Prison Library Survey, 1990" (See APPENDIX F).
The summary data from this survey was used to create the quantitative standards. When
determining standards for staff, open hours, and seating, the Subcommittee initially targeted
a high level of compliance, setting benchmark figures in the 90th to 95th percentile range,
based on the results of the survey. When specifying size of the materials collection, figures
chosen for standards were closer to the 75th percentile. This was based on two factOrs: (1)
a surprisingly high level of holdings in the nation's prison libraries· and (2) the possibility
that artificially high requirements for holdings may inhibit weeding of collections.
It became obvious from the first field review that these benchmark figures were not valid

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Pap2

for setting an acceptable level of open hours. Local variables on the number of library sites,
library staff size, the percentage of the population using the service, and space/security
limitations precluded setting a number that would fit all situations and stili meet the spirit
of the standard. What was determined to be valid was that the library be professionally
staffed during open hours, and that any inmate have access a minimum of five hours per
week. The individual institution can then determine the exact method for meeting the
standard by adjusting hours, number of libraries, staff size, and schedule. Based on the five
hour per week formula, and the assumption that no more than 70% of the population
regularly uses the library, the Subcommittee calculated the maximum seating requirements
for several population sizes when the library is open between forty and fifty hours per week.
The second research project, "Role Selection and Output Measures", tested the output .
measures model being used by public libraries to determine if output measures were
applicable to adult correctional libraries. Several measures were selected for test studies
in Florida, New Mexico, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma. The results indicated that the
public library model could be applied to adult correctional libraries. APPENDIX G
provides additional information on library roles and output measures as a planning and
evaluation tool.
In August 1990, a draft of the Standards was distributed to the field for review and
comments. Institutional library consultants in state library agencies, library directors and
coordinators for correctional departments, wardens, and selected correctional agency
personnel, library school professors, Correctional Education Association (CEA) members,
and members of both the ACA Institution Libraries Committee and the ACNALA Joint
Committee on Institution Libraries were among the individuals that the Subcommittee
con.l'·ulted. In January 1991, at the Midwinter Conference of the American Library
Association in Chicago, a public hearing was held to gather additional comments.

Field review and hearing comments confirmed the Subcommittee's earlier difficulties in
finding areas of commonality while recognizing the diversity that exists. Three specific issues
discussed at length by the Subcommittee on several occasions involved determining
whether the standards should reflect a level of excellence or adequacy; whether law library
services should be addressed; and lastly, whether or not an ALA accredited MLS should be
required. Initially, the Subcommittee attempted to devise standards with three levels of
compliance ranging from minimal to optimal. It was determined after an initial draft that
this model was extremely awkward and ineffective. Based on research tools, experience, and
field review comments, the Subcommittee decided that these standards would define an
acceptable level of library service rather than excellence, because the survey demonstrated
some libraries functioning at a higher level. Since the issue of "meaningful access to the
courts" is subject to many different models nationwide, including several not under the
jurjsdiction of library services. it was decided that this area deserved a separate document
and representation by the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) .. On the issue of
an ALA accredited MLS, the Subcommittee consulted the ALA Policy Statement "Library

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Page 3

Education and Personnel Utilization", 1970, and decided to include the language "or
equivalent" which recognizes the variant designations of the degree. Many changes were
made at this stage to clarify statements and add definitions where responses indicated
confusion.
A second field review of the revised document was conducted March 1991 and distributed
to respondents of the first review as well as attendees at the hearing. The document was
then revised and submitted to the ASCLA Standards Review Committee, the ALA
Committee on Standards, and the ASCLA Board for final approval.
DEFINITIONS. The meaning of terms varies in practice. This list of terms is not intended
to establish standard definitions, but to explain their usage in this document and in the
general field of providing library services to inmates in adult correctional institutions.

ALA. American Library Association.

ALA accredited MLS. Masters degree (one or two years beyond baccalaureate) in
library science from a program accredited by the American Library Association's
Committee on Accreditation. (See STANDARD 3.0)
ASCLA. Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, a division of
the American Library Association.
ability to wock in a con:ect:ional environment. A group of attributes including the
ability to work independently, skill in planning and organizing work effectively, good
communication skills, ability to interact with a diverse range of personalities and
ethnic groups, emotional maturity, adaptability, and sound judgment. (See
STANDARD 3.4)
abuse of h1rary services. Theft, misuse, or destruction of library materials and
equipment, also verbal and/or physical abuse of library staff. (See STANDARD 6.6)
accem;..

Ability to obtain or make use of library services and materials.

advisory service. See readers' advisory service.
assistant librarian.

An entry level professional position. (See STANDARD 3.3)

audiovisual materials. Materials in audio and visual formats (e.g. audio recordings,
video recordings, films, slides, pictures, graphs, and maps).

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

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audit committee. A group of individuals charged with evaluating the library program to
assure compliance with policy and procedures. (See STANDARD 2.7)
average book cost. The "Hardcover Average Per-Volume Prices - Less Than $81"
published annually in the Bowker Annual: Library and Book Trade Almanac, New
York: R.R. Bowker (e.g. in 1989 this figure was $30.08). (See STANDARD 4.2)
bibliotherapy. A discussion process, guided by a facilitator, using literature as a catalyst
to promote insight, nonnal development, or rehabilitation.
book cost. See average book cost.
cireuit/regional hlrarian. A professional librarian providing direct services in more than
one institution; or acting as a relief librarian for more than one institution in the
absence of the Library Director.

circu.1ation. An organized method of lending library materials which includes identifying
the borrower and a specified time period for the loan.
civilian staff. Paid staff of the institution, excluding security staff and inmates. (See
STANDARD 3.0)
clerk. See library clerk.
consortium. A formal association of libraries, established to develop and coordinate
resource sharing among its members.

continuing education. The activities by which library personnel seek to improve,
diversify, or change their professional or job-related knowledge, attitudes, or skills.
correctional institution. A residential facility for people sentenced to imprisonment;
otherwise referred to as prisons, penitentiaries, correctional treatment centers,
etc.

deposit collection. A selection of library materials left in one location for a set period
of time for use by a specified group of people. (See STANDARD 6.8)
equivalent

Comparable and of equal value but not identical.

ESL Equivalent Sphere Illumination, which not only measures the ambient lighting on
a given surface but also takes into account other factors including glare,
reflection, veiling, shadows, etc. (See STANDARD 5.2)

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Page 5

full service library. A library designed to meet the informational, cultural, educational,
vocational, and recreational needs of its users. (See APPENDIX G)

general population.

Majority of inmates; those not on limited access status.

guideline.
Description of procedures or measures that help libraries meet the
requirement of a standard.
intef'library loan. A transaction in which one library lends an item from its collection,
or furnishes a copy of the item, to another library upon request.

hlnrian. A staff member doing work that requires professional skill and training in the
theoretical or scientific aspect of library work as distinct from its mechanical or
clerical aspects.
library advisory committee.

A group of ten
deputy administrator to advise the
procedures. These individuals should be
inmates. At least one member may be
community. (See STANDARD 2.3)

or fewer people selected by the chief or
librarian on library goals, policies, and
representative of departmental staff and
a professional librarian from the outside

library clerlc. A support position supervised by a librarian and responsible for clerical
tasks in the library. (See STANDARD 3.3)
library director. A professional position responsible for supervision of staff and for all
aspects of library management. (See STANDARD 3.2)
library programming.

Programs designed to encourage and enhance the use of library
materials (e.g. book or film discussion groups, creative writing projects,
bibliotherapy, and lectures).

library services. Technical and user services of the library. (See STANDARD 6.0)
library staff. Civilian library workers employed by the state correctional agency, the

state library agency, the public library system, or other agency (e.g. correctional
education bureau or correctional school district) depending upon an individual state's
organizational framework.
hlnry technician. A paraprofessional position responsible for technical operations in
the library. (See STANDARD 3.3)

Library Standards for Aduk Correctional Institutions 1992

Page6

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limited access status.

Status of inmates whose movement within the institution is
restricted (e.g. inmates in disciplinary segregation, protective custody, death row,
transition to another institution).

MLS 01' equivalent. A Master's degree (one or two years beyond the baccalaureate
degree) in library science or any of its variant designations such as MA, MLS,
MSLS, M.Ed., etc. (ALA Policy Statement "Library Education and Personnel
Utilization", 1970). (See STANDARD 3.0)

materials. Physical entities that serve as carriers of information (e.g. books, magazines,
graphics, audio recordings, video recordings, microforms, machine-readable data
files).

output measures. Measurements of the use or results of library service (e.g. reference
transactions per capita, cicculation per capita, program attendance per capita).
(See APPENDIX G)
performance audit. An official examination of an agency's execution of its objectives,
policies, and procedures. An external audit as carried out by neutral, outside
experts; an ·internal audit as done by staff using formal, objective measures. (See
STANDARD 2.7)
perfonnance measures. Measurements of the quality, rather than quantity, of a service
or program (e.g. title fill rate or subject fill rate). (See APPENDIX G)

policies. Written administrative plan, or series of guidelines, which delineate acceptable
practices and actions.
procedures. An administrative plan, either written or formalized by practice, which
establishes the acceptable sequence of steps, actions and methods for accomplishing
a narrowly defined task in an efficient and effective manner.

programming. See library programming.
qualified library staff member. Library staff selected according to the criteria set forth
in STANDARD 3.0. See also library staff.
readec services. See user services.
readers' advisory services. Services concerned specifically with the reading interests of
patrons (e.g. the recommendation of materials, the compilation of lists of selected
titles, instruction for patrons in the use of library resources). (See STANDARD 6.3)

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Plge7

reference services. Personal assistance provided to library users looking for infonnation;
supply of information requested by users; assistance in using library resources to find
infonnation needed.
resource sharing. A variety of activities engaged in jointly by a group of libraries for the
purpose of improving services and/or cutting costs. (See STANDARD 1.6)

roles. See APPENDIX G.
satellite hlnries. Subsidiary libraries supervised by staff of the main library. Satellite
libraries are often smaller than the main library and located in restricted areas (e.g.
cellblock, school, hospital). See STANDARD 3.6)
security designation. Classification of an inmate by security staff (e.g. maximum security,
close custody, minimum security, work release, trusty) which may affect inmate
movement and direct access to services. (See STANDARD 1.1)

staff development. The provision of internal and external educational opportunities for
employees to improve their overall effectiveness
contributions to the goals of the organization.

in their duties

and their

standards. Criteria by which services and programs are planned for and measured.
statewide coordinator of correctional library services. A professional position responsible
for statewide coordination of correctional library services, training of library staff, and
professional advice to correctional agency administration. For federal service, this
function is provided by the Regional Coordinator. (See STANDARD 3.1)

technical·· services. The area of library operations that includes the acquisition,
processing, organization, and bibliographic control of materials. (See STANDARD

6.2)
title. Name of a book. For example, The Oxford American Dictionary is the title of a
book; if the library has six copies of this dictionary and no other books, the library
is said to own one title and six volumes.
services. Library orientation, advisory, reference, and other services provided
directly to the library patron. (See STANDARD 6.3)

t!SeC

vertical file. A collection of materials such as pamphlets, clippings, and pictures which
augment the library collection and which are usually filed vertically in drawers for
easy reference. (See STANDARD 5.3)

Libraty Standards fOI' Adu1t Correctional Institutions 1992

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volume. One self-contained book. or a copy. For example, an encyclopedia may be
comprised of thirteen bound books; it is said to have thirteen volumes.

Weeding is the selection of items for withdrawal from the
collection.
Enhancement is the selection of replacement and supplementary
materials. (See STANDARD 7.3)

weed and enhance.

work stations. Areas within the library designed and designated for specific functions.
(See SI'ANDARD 5.5)

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Page9

PHILOSOPHY

Library services shall ensure the inmates' right to read and their right to free access to
information. Services shall encompass the same variety of material, fonnats, and programs
as available in the outside community and shall comply with the following American Library
Association documents:
a) "Library Bill of Rights" (1948; Revised 1961, 1980)
b) "Resolution on Prisoners' Right to Read" (1982)
c) "Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records"
(1971; Revised 1975, 1986)
d) "Freedom to Read Statement" (1953, Revised 1972, 1991)
e) "Freedom to View" (1979)

The librarian shall recognize that the library is a part of an agency with security
priorities.

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Library Standards for Aduh Correctional Institutions 1992

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LOACCESS

1.1 Library services shall be accessible to all inmates regardless of sentence, security
designation, or placement in the institution. Access to library services shall be restricted
only for documented infringement of library regulations. Inmates in institutions under
lockdown shall be provided with services per standards for limited access units in
SI'ANDARD 6.7- 6.11. Where inmates may leave their institutions on a periodic basis or
live outside institutional perimeters, arrangements shall be made for individual borrowing
privileges from local public libraries.
1.2 Library services shall address the basic needs of inmates for:
a) information on institution regulations and procedures
b) information to maintain contact with the outside community
c) information on vocational skills
d) educational information
e) support for rehabilitative programs (e.g. substance abuse)
f) self-directed reading for lifelong learning and personal needs

g) recreational reading
h) information on reentry into the community (e.g. job skills,
housing)
Library materials shall reflect the formats and technologies generally available,
including, but not limited to:
1.3

a) books

e) video recordings

b) magazines

f) microforms

c) newspapers

g) computer software

d) audio recordings

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Page 11

1.4
The location of the library shall provide for easy access and use by inmates,
including those with disabilities. The library shall be in a place which is accessible on
weekdays and evenings as well as on weekends, if necessary, to meet the standard for
minimum number of open hours (See STANDARD 1.5).

1.5 Library services shall be accessible during weekdays, evenitigs, and weekends to allow
for each inmate in the general population to have access to a professionally staffed library
at least five (5) hours per week.
1.6 Libraries shall participate in library systems, resource sharing networks, consortia, or
other cooperative relationships.

Libnry Standards for Adult Conecbooa1 Institutions 1992

Page 12

2.0 ADMINISTRAnON
2.1 There shall be a Library Services Department in the correctional institution of equal
standing with other departments. The Library Director, as Department Head, shall
participate in the decision making process at the institutional level as it affects library
administration and services.
2.2 There shall be an established process by which inmate needs are identified and
addressed by the Library Director. An assessment of inmate library needs by survey,
questionnaire, interview, or other justified, accurate, and effective method shall take place
annually.
2.3 There shall be a Library Advisory Committee composed of the Library Director and
a cross section of institutional department staff and inmates. At least one member may be
a professional librarian from the outside community. These individuals may be appointed
by the Chief Administrator or Deputy of the institution.
2.4 The statewide coordinator of correctional library services shall develop written
departmental library policies approved by the individual(s) having direct governing authority
over the institutions.
2.5 The Library Director shall develop written procedures which address such areas as
operations, materials selection and processing, donations, access to materials, circulation,
weeding and inventory, statistics, networking, use of space, budgeting, copyright, organization
chart, staffing, and policy review.
2.6 The Library Director, with the cooperation of the Advisory Committee, shall develop,
implement, and evaluate short and long range plans. These plans include goals, measurable
objectives, strategies, tasks, and evaluation methods, and shall be in compliance with
statewide plans and policies. Tasks shall be reviewed annually. Goals, objectives, and
strategies shall be reviewed at least every five years. These plans shall be included in the
institution's overall plan.
2.7 There shall be a periodic performance audit of the library program, at intervals not to
exceed five years, to assure compliance with policy and procedures. The audit may be
conducted by outside evaluators.

Library Standanb for Aduh Correctional Institutions 1992

3.0 STAFFING
3.1
There shall be a statewide coordinator of correctional
qualifications and responsibilities of this position shall be:

library services. The

Requires an ALA accredited MLS or equivalent AND at least three years
experience in a professional capacity in a library; experience in an institutional
library preferred; knowledge of planning and fiscal management; ability to
manage and advise institutional library staff. This position is responsible for
coordinating library services statewide, developing departmental library policies,
evaluating services, training library staff, and giving professional advice to
correctional agency administration.
3.2 There shall be a Library Director. The qualifications and responsibilities of this
position shall be:
Requires an ALA accredited MLS or equivalent AND two years experience in
a professional capacity in a library. This position directs all library services and
operations in an institution and acts as department head. The Library Director
is a supervisory position requiring familiarity with all aspects of library
management.
3.3 There shall be an Assistant Librarian(s), Library Technician(s), and Library Clerk(s)
according to the size of the institution (See STANDARD 3.5). Qualifications and
responsibilities of these positions shall be:
(A) Assistant Librarian
Requires an ALA accredited MLS or equivalent OR a Bachelor's degree AND
at least 15 credit hours in library/information science AND one year of
experience in a library. This is an entry level position providing professional
services.
(B) Library Technician
Requires an Associate's degree OR two years of college and a basic knowledge
of library techniques and procedures. This is a paraprofessional position
responsible for technical operations.
(C) Library Clerk
Requires a high school diploma or equivalent with ability to perform clerical
tasks.

Library Standards for Adult Ccrrectional Institutions 1992

Page 14

3.4 In addition to the academic and experience qualifications specifically required for each
position in STANDARD 3.3, library staff at all levels shall be selected for their ability to
work in a correctional environment.
3.5 Minimum civilian staffing levels in each institution shall be:

301-500 inmates

1 Library Director
1 Library Technician or Clerk

501-1000 inmates

1 Library Director
2 Library Technicians or Clerks

1001-1500 inmates

1 Library Director
1 Assistant Librarian
2 Library Technicians or Clerks

1501-2500 inmates

1 Library Director
1 Assistant Librarian
3 Library Technicians or Clerks

3.6 Civilian library staffing levels above the minimum level or for populations over 2500
inmates shall be based upon a number of considerations specific to each individual
institution, including but not limited to:
a)

number of open hours

b)

size of the general population

c)

the size, direct accessibility, and configuration of library
space

d)

the number of satellite libraries or delivery sites

e)

the number, type, and size of limited access units

f)

the length of stay of inmates in limited access units

g)

the number and types of services provided on a daily basis
in both the main library and other locations

Library Standards for Aduh Correctional Institution& 1992

Page 15

h) the amount of programming provided
i)

the level of automation of library functions

j)

the number and types of educational and
programs

rehabilitative

k) the number and types of roles selected (See APPENDIX

G)
3.7 Library staff shall be given the opportunity to participate regularly in conferences,
cantinuing education programs, staff development workshops, and training opportunities
which enhance skills and promote better service. Librarians shall be given the opportunity
to participate in professional library association activities (See STANDARD 4.5).
3.8 Library staff shall be available in the library to maintain services during all open hours.
The library shall not be open for use \\ithout the presence of a qualified library staff
member.
3.9 The Library Director shall determine the number and qualifications of inmate workers
needed to achieve the library's goals.
3.10 The Library Director shall select, train, and evaluate all inmate workers on a regular
basis.
3.11 Compensation for institutional library staff shall be internally equitable and externally
competitive.

-

Library Standards for Aduh Correctional Institutions 1992

Plgol6

.

4.0

BUDGET

4.1 The agency responsible for general library services shall ensure that the general library
is funded as a separate line item and receives annually appropriated funds.
4.2 Funds for the acquisition of new and replacement materials for the collection shall be
·budgeted annually at the average book cost of one (1) hardcover book per inmate (70% of
the inmate population) plus twenty percent (20%) for loss. For example, 900 inmates x
.7 x $30.08 (FY1989) = $18,950 + $3,790 (20% of $18,950) = $22,740 annual materials
budget. This does not imply the library will purchase only hardcover books, but represents
a simple formula for the total budget for all types of materials.
4.3 Funds shall be budgeted for library and office supplies based on annual usage and shall
be adjusted for inflation.
4.4
Funds shall be budgeted for equipment and furniture, including computer
hardware/software, and for maintenance or replacement of those items, as needed, to
support the library's goals.
4.5 Funds shall be budgeted for both in-state and out-of-state continuing education and staff
development activities.
4.6 Funds shall be budgeted, as needed, for contractual

services, for participation in
interlibrary loan arrangements, automated systems, and online bibliographic networks and
databases.

4.7 Allocations for new institutions shall include funds for the establishment of fifty percent
(50%) of the collection (STANDARD 7.0) and all library furniture and shelving
(STANDARD 5.0). Additional funds beyond the regular budget shall be budgeted each
year for four consecutive years so that the materials collection reaches recommended size
within five years from the opening of the new library.

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

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5.0 FACILITY
5.1 The library shall be a separate and lockable area.
5.2 The facility design shall include:
a) functional glare-free lighting according to Illuminating Engineering Society
guidelines:
stacks - 30 footcandles
general reading area - 30 ESI
study area - 70 ESI
staff workstations - 70 ESI
AV viewing - 70 footcandles
group activity - 15 footcandles
b) acoustical treatment for walls, floor, ceiling
c) climate control (e.g. heat, air conditioning)
d) load bearing capabilities at a rate of 150 lbs.
per square foot for bookstack area with 36" aisles
e) electricity and electrical outlets according to code to accommodate
audiovisual, electronic, and computer equipment
f) visual control of library area
g) lockable storage space
h) office for Library Director
i)

telephone

j) electronic communication system for emergency situations
k) access for people with physical disabilities

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Jnstitutioos 1992

Page 18

5.3 Space shall be provided for the following types of materials at the following rates:
a) Books: One square foot of floor space per ten (10) volumes
,,
I

b) Magazines: 0. 7 square foot per title of floor space for display; 0.5 per title for
storage per year
c) Newspapers: Twenty-five (25) square feet of floor space per storage rack
d) Audiovisual Materials: Fifteen (15) square feet of floor space per generic
storage module
e) Vertical File Materials: Ten (10) square feet of floor space per file cabinet
5.4 The number of user seats for such activities as studying, reading, listening, viewing,
typing, and computer use shall be based on the following percentages of the population:

301 - 500 inmates

10%

501 - 1000 inmates

50+ 8% of population in
excess of 500

over 1000 inmates

90 + 7% of population in
excess of 1000

Space for seating, including tables and aisles, shall be based on the above numbers at
twenty-five (25) square feet per seat
5.5 Library staff work space shall be allocated according to the number of work stations
necessary to manage daily tasks at one hundred and fifty (150) square feet per station,
including access and aisles. Basic direct service tasks include circulation, reference, and
audiovisual services. The Library Director shall have a private office of at least one hundred
and fifty (150) square feet situated with visual control of the library and equipped with a
telephone capable of accepting calls from outside the institution (See also STANDARD
5.7).
5.6 Sufficient space for group activities shall be provided for library programming, staff and
inmate meetings, lectures, and workshops. Seating shall be calculated for twenty-five (25)
persons at ten (10) square feet per seat for lecture type arrangement or twenty-five (25)
square feet per seat for conference room configuration with tables.

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

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5.7 Work room space of at least one hundred and fifty (150) square feet shall be provided
for technical services and processing of materials. The room shall be equipped with a sink
and lockable cabinets.
5.8 Storage and work space shall also be provided in the main library for materials and
equipment for use in segregation units.
5.9 Additional special use space is required for certain types of library furnishings (e.g.
card catalog, index table, computer work station, copy machine, dictionary and atlas stand,
microform reader) or elements of an individual library program (e.g. art exhibit, media
display). This space shall constitute a minimum of five percent (5%) of the overall library
space.
5.10
Furniture and equipment shall be selected for its effectiveness, attractiveness,
durability, comfort, and ease of maintenance and shall be kept in good repair. Furniture
and equipment shall be arranged in configurations which comply with security regulations.
5.11 Library equipment shall include, but not be limited to, typewriters, audiovisual
equipment, microform reader/printers, microcomputers, and photocopiers.
5.12 Rest rooms, a drinking fountain and access to them shall be available within, or in
close proximity to, the library for both staff and inmates.

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Page 20

..J :

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6.0 SERVICES
6.1 Services of the library shall include technical services, user services to both general
population and inmates in limited access status, and programs in a variety of formats.

6.2 Technical services shall include planned collection management to meet the identifiable
needs of users, standardized organization of resources for the most effective use in the
institution, and procedures designed for the maximum circulation of library materials.
6.3 The library shall provide resources and services to reflect stated inmates' needs
(SfANDARD 1.2) based on an annually updated profile of the inmate population. User
services shall include:
a) reader services with materials at the appropriate reading level (e.g. including
those for adult new readers)
b) library orientation and instruction at appropriate levels offered on a regular basis
to all inmates
c) access to other library collections through state and regional library systems,
networks, consortia, or other cooperative relationships
d) advisory service to aid inmates in the meaningful use of library materials
e) reference and information services to meet the inmates' needs for facts and data
f) access to special need services (e.g. materials from the Regional Library for the

Blind and Physically Handicapped)
6.4 The library shall offer programs that provide a variety of activities. These programs
may be in accordance with the roles (See APPENDIX G) the library has selected.
6.5 The library shall regularly promote its programs and services.
6.6 Library service to individual inmates shall be restricted only for documented abuse of
the library service itself.
6. 7 The library shall provide services to inmates in limited access status comparable to
those provided the general population.

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6.8 Library service provided to limited access unit inmates shall include at least one of the
following:
a) separate access to the main library facility at least once a week for a minimum
of one hour.
b) a deposit collection in the unit consisting of at least one hundred (100) books or
other appropriate library materials, or two (2) per inmate in the unit, whichever
is greater. This collection shall be changed at least once every month.
c) a book cart with at least one hundred (100) items. Each inmate shall be able
to browse and select at least two (2) titles from this cart at least once per week.
These books shall be changed at least once every month.
d) a list of at least three hundred (300) current titles of books and other appropriate
library materials. Inmates may select· from this list at least two (2) items per
week. Deliveries of requested items or suitable substitutes shall be made within
seven working days. This list shall be revised at least annually.
6.9 Materials for limited access units shall be selected according to the same criteria as
materials in the general collection.
6.10 Services to inmates in limited access units shall include access to circulating materials
in the general collection on request, interlibrary loan, and answers to reference questions.
Inmates in limited access units shall have the opportunity to suggest acquisitions and

services.
6.11 The annual assessment of library and information needs shall include the limited
access population(s). The periodic performance audit shall include services to inmates in
limited access status. (STANDARDS 2.2. 2.7, and 6.3).

Library Standards fer Adult Correctional Irutituti0115 1992

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7.0 LffiRARY MATERIALS
7.1 Library materials shall be selected to meet the informational. cultural. educational,
vocational, and recreational needs of the inmate population and of the correctional
institution.
7.2 The library shall have a written collection management policy statement defining the
principles and criteria for selecting and maintaining library materials, whether acquired by
purchase or gift. Appended to this policy shall be the Library Bill of Rights, Resolution
on Prisoners Right to Read, Policy on Confidentiality of Librmy Records, Freedom to Read
Statement, and Freedom to View. This policy shall address:
a) the ethnic composition, ages, reading levels, and languages of the inmate
population
b) the need for materials helpful in preparing inmates for reentry into the
community, including information on community resources, job and housing
opportunities, educational, and vocational training opportunities
c) the need for reference and other materials supporting programs offered by the
institution
d) a process for recommending acquisitions and procedures for handling requests to
remove materials from the collection
e) the security requirements of the correctional institution
f) procedures for weeding outdated and unnecessary materials from the collection
7.3 The materials collection shall include a variety of current print and non-print formats
similar to Liose found in a public or school library. The collection shall be weeded and
enhanced continuously and systematically.
7.4 A full service library shall provide the following materials.
shall be provided in multiple copies.

Items in heavy demand

BOOKS A collection of no less than five thousand (5,000) titles, selected
according to policy. or fifteen (15) titles per inmate, up to 2,500
inmates, whichever is greater.
MAGAZINES A minimum of fifty (SO) titles or one subscription per ten (10)
inmates, whichever is greater.

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Page 23

NEWSPAPERS
Local, state and national newspapers, the number to be
decided by the geographical areas of the state and regions most represented by
the inmate population.
AUDIO RECORDINGS A core collection of one hundred (100) titles, thereafter
one title per five (5) inmates.
VIDEO RECORDINGS A minimum collection of twenty (20) titles or one per
thirty (30) inmates, whichever is greater, with access to cooperative video
circuits or collections.
CO:f\.1PUTER SOFIWARE
A representative core collection covering word
processing, current business usage, academic learning, and graphics programs.
Additions shall be chosen reflecting the library role and the interests
and needs of the users and the institution.

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Pllge 24

SUMMARY OF KEY FIGURES

ACCESS
General Population:
Day. evening and weekend hours to provide at least five (5) hours per inmate per
week in a professionally staffed library
Limited Access Population -- At least one of the following:
One hour in library once per week
Deposit collection which is the greater of 100 books or two per inmate in unit
Book cart with 100 items available weekly
List of 300 books and weekly delivery

STAFF
INMATE POPULATION

STAFF SIZE

301-500 inmates

1 Library Director
1 Library Technician or
Clerk

501-1000 inmates

1 Library Director
2 Library Technicians or
Clerks

1001-1500 inmates

1 Library Director
1 Assistant Librarian
2 Library Technicians or
Clerks

1501-2500 inmates

1 Library Director
1 Assistant Librarian
3 Library Technicians or
Clerks

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Page 25

SEATING
301 - 500 inmates

10%

501 - 1000 inmates

50 + 8% of population in
excess of 500

over 1000 inmates

90 + 7% of population in
excess of 1000

BOOK BUDGET
Funds for one hardcover book per inmate (70% of inmate population) per year,
plus twenty per cent (20%) for loss
COLLECTION

BOOKS: Greater of 5000 titles or 15 titles per inmate up to maximum of 2,500
inmates
MAGAZINES: Greater of 50 titles or one per ten inmates
NEWSPAPERS: Number based on regions represented by inmate population
AUDIO RECORDINGS:

100 titles plus one per five inmates

VIDEO RECORDINGS:

Greater of 20 titles or one per thirty inmates

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

_j

APPENDIX A

LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS
Tl'..e American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and
ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information,
and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not
be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their
creation.

2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on
current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of
partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to
provide information and enlightenment.

4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting
abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

5. A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin,
age, background, or views.

6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they
serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs
or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Adopted June 18, 1948; amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980, by the ALA
Council.

I..ibrazy Standards foe Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

APPENDIX B

RESOLUTION ON PRISONERS' RIGHT TO READ
WHEREAS, The right . to read is a fundamental
Association; and

concern of the American Library

WHEREAS, Censorship is a problem for many prisoners and for librarians providing
materials and information for prisoners; and
WHEREAS, Several states have statutes or regulations regarding prisoners' right to read,
as California Penal Code Section 2601(c), which provides that prisoners have the right: to
purchase, receive, read, and permit other inmates to read any and all legal materials,
newspapers, periodicals, and books accepted for distribution by the United States Post
Office, except those which describe the making of any weapon, explosive, poison or
destructive device. Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the right of prison
authorities (1) to open and inspect any and all packages received by an inmate, and (2) to
establish reasonable restrictions as to the number of newspapers, magazines, and books that
the inmate may have in his cell or elsewhere in the prison at one time. NOW,
THEREFORE, BE IT
.RESOLVED, That the American Library Association urge that legislation and/or
adminiStrative regulations similar to California Penal. Code Section 2601(c) be secured in
all states without such provisions; and Further,
RESOLVED, That the American Library Association shall transmit a copy of this resolution
to the Intellectual Freedom and Legislation Committees of all ALA state chapters, urging
them to work with agencies and persons concerned with prisoners' right to read to secure
similar legislation and/or administrative regulations.

ADOPTED BY THE ALA COUNCIL
July 13, 1982

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

'I
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APPENDIX C

POLICY ON CONFIDENTIALITY OF LIBRARY
RECORDS*
I'

I

"

The Council of the American Library Association strongly recommends that the responsible
officers of each library, cooperative system, and consortium in the United States:
1.

Formally adopt a policy which specifically recognizes its circulation records and
other records identifying the names of library users to be confidential in nature.

2.

Advise all librarians and library employees that such records shall not be made
available to any agency of state, federal, or local government except pursuant
to such process, order or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority
of, and pursuant to, federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or
administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigative power.

I

I
f

I

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3.

Resist the issuance of enforcement of any such process, order, or subpoena
until such time as a proper showing of good cause has been made in a court of
competent jurisdiction.**

*Note: See also ALA POLICY MANUAL 54.16 - CODE OF ETHICS, point #3,
"Librarians must protect each user's right to privacy with respect to information sought or
received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired."
**Note: Point 3, above, means that upon receipt of such process, order, or subpoena, the
library's officers will consult with their legal counsel to determine if such process, order, or
subpoena is in proper form and if there is a showing of good cause of its issuance; if the
process, order, or subpoena is not in proper form or if good cause has not been shown, they
will insist that such defects be cured.

Adopted January 20, 1971; revised July 4, 1975, July 2, 1986,
by the ALA Council.

I..ibraty Srandards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Page 29

APPENDIX D

THE FREEDOM TO READ
The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups
and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove books from sale, to censor
textbooks, to label "controversial" books, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge
libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer
valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the subversion of politics and the conuption of
morals. We, as citizens devoted to the use of books and as librarians and publishers responsible for
disseminating them, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.
We are deeply concerned about these attempts at suppression. Most such attempts rest on a denial
of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary citizen, by exercising critical judgment, will
accept the good and reject the bad. The censors, public and private, assume that they should determine what
is good and what is bad for their fellow-citizens.
We trust Americans to recognize propaganda, and to reject it. We do not believe they need the help
of censors to assist them in this task. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a
free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still
favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.
We are aware, of course, that books are not alone in being subjected to efforts at suppression. We
are aware that these efforts are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the
press, films, radio and television. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast
by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek
to avoid controversy.
Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of uneasy change and pervading fear.
Especially when so many of our apprehensions are directed against an ideology, the expression of a dissident
idea becomes a thing feared in itself, and we tend to move against it as against a hostile deed, with
suppression.
And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has
given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and aeative
solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an
orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with
stress.

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Now as always in our history. books are among our greatest instruments of freedom. They are
almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manner-s of expression ·that can initially
command only a small audience. They are the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from
which come the original contributions to social growth. They are essential to the extended discussion which
serious thought requires. and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.
We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative
culture. We believe that these pressures towards conformity present the danger of limiting the range and
variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our adture depend. We believe that every
American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate. in order to preserve its
own freedom to read. We believe that publisher-s and librarians have a profound responsibility to give
validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of
offerings.
The freedom to read is guaranteed by !he Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand
f'um on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that
accompany these rights.
We therefore affirm these prQPOsitions:
1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of
views and expressions. including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majoritv.
Creative thought is by definition new. and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought

is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power
by the ruthless suppression of ariy concept which challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a
democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely
from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would
mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore. only through the constant activity of weighing and
c~lecting

can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not

only what we believe but why we believe it.
2. Publishers. librarians and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation
contained in the books they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish
their own political. moral or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what books should be published or
circulated.
Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and
ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by
imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and
consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or
government or ·church. It is wrong that what one can read should be conf'med to what ·another thinks proper.
3. It is contrarv to the public interest for publishers or librarians to determine the acceptability of a

Library Standards for Aduh Correctional Institutions 1992

Page 31

book on the basis of the personal history oc political affiliations of the author.
A book should be judged as a book. No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the
political views or private lives of its aeatocs. No society of free people can flourish which draws up lists of
writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.
4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others. to confine adults to the
reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic
expression.
To some, much of modern literature is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off
literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a
responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed,
as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative
responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not
yet prepared.

In these matters taste differs, and taste cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised

which will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.
5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any book the prejudgment of a
label characterizing the book or author as subversive or dangerous.
The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by
authority what is good or bad for the citizen. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up
their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.
6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians. as guardians of the people's freedom to read.
to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards
or tnstes upon the community at large.
It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the
aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or
group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each
group is free to determine what it

will recon'lmend to its freely associated members. But no group has the

right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other
members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the
inoffensive.
7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by
providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this
affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one. the answer to a
bad idea is a good one.
The freedom to read is of little consequence when expended on the trivial; it is frustrated when the
reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of
restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Pap32

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said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is banded down, and the principal
means of its testing and growth. The defense of their freedom and integrity, and the enlargement of their
service to society, requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all
citizens the fullest of their support.
We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty
claim for the value of books. We do so because we believe that they are good, possessed of enonnous

variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these
propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many
persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant.
We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the
suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library
Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American
Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.
Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972,January 16, 1991, by the ALA Council and the AAP
Freedom to Read Committee.
·

A Joint Statement by:
American Library Association
Association of American Publishers
Subsequently Endorsed bv:
American Association of University Professors
American Booksellers Association
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
American Civil Liberties Union
American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO
Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith
Art Libraries Society of North America
Association of American University Presses
Children's Book Council
Freedom to Read Foundation
lntematiooal Reading Association
Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
National Association of College Stores
National Council of Teachers of English
P.E.N. - American Center
People for the American Way
Periodical and Book Association of America
Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S.
Society of Professional Journalists
Women's National Book Association
YWCA of the U.S.A.

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Page 33

APPENDIX E

FREEDOM TO VIEW
The FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is
protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free
society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore, we affirm
these principles:

1.
It is in the public interest to provide the broadest possible access to films and other
audiovisual materials because they have proven to be among the most effective means for
the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional
guarantee of freedom of expression.
2.
It is in the public interest to provide for our audiences, films and other audiovisual
materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not
constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.
3.
It is our professional responsibility to resist the constraint of labeling or prejudging
a film on the basis of the moral, religious or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker
or on the basis of controversial content.
It is our professional responsibility to contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every
4.
encroachment upon the public's freedom to View.

Endorsed June 28, 1979 by ALA Council. This statement was originally drafted by the
Educational Film Library Association's Freedom to View Committee, and was adopted by
the EFLA Board of Directors in February, 1979.

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

.
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.t·.';,; .

~~ t::·~:

APPENDIX F

--

·· =-:·"''-~ ~ - ---. - -·

NATIONAL PRISON LIBRARY SURVEY, 1990
Members of the Subcommittee conducted this survey of correctional librarians and all adult
correctional institutions with libraries in the United States during February-May, 1990.
The following sources were used to identify these librarians and institutions:

* The Directory

of State Prison Librarians published by the ASCLA Library Services
to Prisoners Forum (1988 edition)

* Supplementary

lists from institutional consultants at state libraries

* Federal and supplementary state institutions in the American Correctional Association
directory

* Responses

to survey publicity in the library press.

Surveys went out to 521 institutions. Two follow-up reminders were sent.
The
Subcommittee received 323 responses -- a 62% response. Analysis of most measures was
broken down by size of institution. The following number of responses were received from
each group:
Institutions with 500 and fewer inmates

102

Institutions with 501-1000 inmates

123

Institutions with more than 1000 inmates
Population variable missing
Total

96
2
323

Survey response data was entered and processed utilizing SPSS-PC+. The software's data
cleaning function was used to detect and eliminate keying errors outside the bounds of
possible responses; this process revealed 18 inaccuracies (or about 0.05% of the total data
elements). Budget and time constraints did not allow for results to be double-checked with
respondents. Most prison library characteristics are reported for the 50th, 67th, 75th, 90th,
and 95th percentile levels. A figure in the column for the 75th percentile level, for example,
means that 75% of the libraries reported that figure or a lower one. All measures were
done independently. Thus, it is possible that libraries in all prisons have 1.0 MLS
Librarians at the 75th percentile level, 1.0 Other Library Staff at the 75th percentile level,

Library Standards for Aduh Correctional Institutions 1992

Page 35

and 1.3 Total Civilian Staff at the 75th percentile level. This is the case since the 25% of
the libraries with 1.0 or more MLS Librarians are not necessarily the same as the 25%
of the libraries with 1. 0 or more Other Library Staff. A summary of responses follows.

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

,...

f'·

~-

.

"

·- -

S~Y

-,-- - --·- ·--.-.~-~·--..:~ ~-.-.--

OF RESPONSES

NATIONAL PRISON LIBRARY SURVEY
1990

STANDARDS FOR ADULT CORREC'llONAL INS1TIUI10N UBRARIES
COMMITI'F.E

ASSOCIATION OF SPF.CIAUZFD AND COOPERATIVE LIBRARY AGF.NCIFS
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

Libnry Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Page37

··-·--·-

National Prison Library Survey 1990
Table 1. Per cent of

11

yes" or choice responses, by prison size
PRISON POPULATION

Q-3
Q-4

Q-6

Q-8

Q-9
Q-10
Q-11
Q-12
Q-13
Q-14
Q-15

Is there a law library?
Where is the law library?
More than 100 ft from gen lib
Within 100 ft, but separate
Adjacent to or within gen lib
Which law library functions are
responsibilities of general lib?
None
Planning
Civilian staff supervision
Inmate staff supervision
Scheduling service hours
Budgeting
Purchasing
Other
Other libraries at prison
Staff library
Work camp library
Hospital library
Other libraries
Description of book collection
Superior
Adequate
Insufficient
Description of library size
Superior
Adequate
Insufficient
Description of staff size
Superior
Adequate
Insufficient
Description of budget
Superior
Adequate
Insufficient
Is the library separate/lockable?
Staff rest room?
Inmate rest room?
Air conditioned?
Secure storage?
Outside telephone line?
Private office?

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

0500

5011000

87

94

95

92

16
24
60

15
28

14

15

21

57

64

25
60

34
45

29
45
22
58

so

31
44
19
59
54

30
42
15

27
42
18
66
63
27
36
10
29
3
2
14

17

56
50
34

1001- 05000 5000

44

28
43

15

18

34
7
6

21
15

15

11
24

1

5

45
48

50
45

8
56
35

5
29
66

8
42
50

43
50

4
40
56

3
48
49

2
26
72
88
67
76
72
69
53
40

2
37
61
91
83
90
69
82
78
42

7

3
40
57

1
45

28
8
6
17

7

so
43
7
38

55
4
43
54
2

54

36
63

83

88

72
79
66
80
67
48

75
82
69
77
67
44

PRISON POPULATION
0500
Q-22 To whom does librarian report?
Inst superintendent or warden
Associate or deputy warden
Inst education administrator
Other inst administrator
Regional prison administrator
Central prison administrator
Non-prison library administrator
Other or combination
Q-35 Member of cooperative system?
Q-36 Advisory committee?
Q-37 Author-title-subject catalog?
Q-38 Orientation for new inmates?
Q-39 All inmates allowed to come?
Q-41 Collections for isolation?
Q-42 Delivery to isolation?
Q-43 Book cart to isolation?
Q-44 Frequency of book cart
Once per week or more
Between weekly & monthly
Less than monthly
Q-45 Open at least one night?
Q-47 Open weekends?
Q-73 Line item for library budget?

Library Standards for Adu1t Correctional Institutions 1992

12
15
36
7
1
2
12
14
62
37
61
60
41
68
88
49
85
12
3
68
53
51

501- 1001- 01000 5000 5000

3
10
66
4
1
2
2
12

1
5

67
4
2
2
2

41
85
61
25
77
93
56

16
46
44
88
61
10
75
86
57

90

72

9

4

2
77
66
63

73
61
61

54

4

5
10
57
5
1
2

5
14
54

41
79
61
26
74
89
54

82
3

3
73
60
59

Page39

National Prison Library Survey 1990
Table 2. Libraries in Prisons of Population 500 and Under
Staff

so

Percentile Level
67
75
90

0.0
0.0
1.0
0.0
3.0

0.3
0.3
1.0
0.0
4.0

4365
18
24
8
6
10
0
0

6429
26
28
12
8
46
3
0

General Seats
14
Task Seats
0
Per Cent of Inmate Population Seated
6
Area (in square feet)
800

19
1
8
1099

10
1200

34
5
14
1897

5
0
303

8
1
466

8
2
522

12
3
775

35
4569
3026
450
35

40
7386
6452
1387
469

Full-time Equivalent MLS Librarian
FTE Other Library Staff
FTE Total Civilian Staff
FTE Correctional Officer Staff
FTE Inmate Workers

1•0
1 •0
1.0
0.0
5.0

1 .0
1 .0
1.3
1 .0
7.3

1989
95
1.0
1.0
2.0
1.0
10.3

Collection
Number of Books Held
Total Books Held per Inmate
Magazine Subscriptions
Subscriptions per 100 Inmates
Newspaper Subscriptions
Number of Audio Recordinqs
Number of Video Recordings
Other Materials

7756 10230 11661
27
37
56
47
35
68
27
13
22
10
24
15
301
97
580
10
46
78
0
65
11

General Library Facilities
23
2

37
7

19
2730

Law Library Facilities
General Seats
Task Seats
Area (in square feet)

14
4

900

Access and Use
Hours Open per Week
Circulation to Walk-in Users
In-Library Use
Direct Circulation to Isolation
Deposit Circulation to Isolation

Libra.'Y Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

41
60
65
8419 15174 18944
9875 14150 25824
1725 6263 7970
920 2910 5770

National Prison Library Survey 1990
Table 3. Libraries in Prisons of Population 501-1000
Staff
Full-time Equivalent MLS Librarian
FTE Other Library Staff
FTE Total Civilian Staff
FTE Correctional Officer Staff
FTE Inmate Workers

1989

Percentile Level

so
1 •0
0.3
1.0
0.0
5.0

67

75

90

95

1.0
1.0
1.0
0.0
6.0

1.0
1.0
1.3
0.0
7.0

1.0
1.6
2.0
1.0
11.0

1.0
2.0
2.3
1•2
15.0

Collection
Number of Books Held
Total Books Held per Inmate
Magazine Subscriptions
Subscriptions per 100 Inmates
Newspaper Subscriptions
Number of Audio Recordings
Number of Video Recordings
Other Materials

6254
8
35
5

9
0

2
0

9445 10906 13796 15000
13
15
21
26
48
52
78
85
7
8
10
12
14
12
22
28
50
96
320
474
18
29
168
83
0
26
441 2100

General Library Facilities
General Seats
25
Task Seats
1
Per Cent of Inmate Population Seated
4
Area (in square feet)
1385

30
2

31
3

41
6

4

5

7

1800

2248

3052

50
8
9
3960

12
2
640

15
3
775

20
5
1220

25
8
1497

Law Library Facilities
General Seats
Task Seats
Area (in square feet)

10
0
450

Access and Use
Hours Open per Week
Circulation to Walk-in Users
In-Library Use
Direct Circulation to Isolation
Deposit Circulation to Isolation

Library Slandards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

40
38
45
56
66
9000 12213 16719 27838 34729
9047 17147 20520 40330 61403
524 1085 1970 3999 5200
645 2008 2455
112
500

hge41

National Prison Library Survey 1990
Table 4. Libraries in Prisons of Population Over 1000

so

Staff
Full-time Equivalent MLS Librarian
FTE Other Library Staff
FTE Total Civilian Staff
FTE Correctional Officer Staff
FTE Inmate Workers

1.0
0.3
1.0
0.0
8

1989

Percentile Level
67
75
90
1 •0

1•0

1.0
1.3

1•0

0.0
11

2.0
0.3
12

1. 0
1 •3
2.3
1 •0
17

95
1 •7

3.0
3.5
1.2
22

Collection
9460 11432 14258 22526 29781
10
14
19
6
8
42
102
58
65
91
4
7
3
3
8
41
12
16
19
31
734
122
527
58
6
15
24
126
200
0
20
115 1149 5078
0

Number of Books Held
Total Books Held per Inmate
Magazine Subscriptions
Subscriptions per 100 Inmates
Newspaper Subscriptions
Number of Audio Recordings
Number of Video Recordings
Other Materials
General Library Facilities

General Seats
28
Task Seats
1
Per Cent of Inmate Population Seated
2
Area (in square feet)
1715

37
3
3
2727

40
4
3
2994

16

20
1
800

so
10
4

4000

74
13
6
4968

Law Library Facilities
General Seats
Task Seats
Area (in square feet)

11
0
500

0
700

22
4
1840

32
8
3040

Access and Use
Hours Open per Week
Circulation to Walk-in Users
In-Library Use
Direct Circulation to Isolation
Deposit Circulation to Isolation

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

41
46
38
57
65
18945
23505
36766 58090
11600
11383 20218 28258 63728 94250
1156 2982 3904 11500 15051
3870 4786
500 1114 1581

National Prison Library Survey 1990

...... ...
1989

Table 5. Libraries in All Prisons
Staff
Full-time Equivalent MLS Librarian
FTE Other Library Staff
FTE Total Civilian Staff
FTE Correctional Officer Staff
FTE Inmate Workers

Percentile Level
67
75
90

so
1.0
0.0
1.0
0.0
5.0

1.0
1.0
1.0
0.0
7.0

1.0
1.0
1.3
0.0
8.0

1.0
1.3
2.0
1.0
13.8

95
1.0
2.0
2.3
1.0
17.0

Collection
Number of Books Held
Total Books Held per Inmate
Magazine Subscriptions
Subscriptions per 100 Inmates
Newspaper Subscriptions
Number of Audio Recordings
Number of Video Recordings
Other Materials

7000
9

30
5

8
6
0
0

9420 10763 14402 17926
27
14
17
31
76
44
88
51
7
13
19
8
12
14
25
32
587
52
104
383
148
82
20
11
20
385 1455
0

General Library Facilities

so

29

32

42

2
4

3
6

7

1700

2112

10
3205

10
13
4000

12
1

14

20

24

0

2

4

411

599

700

1188

General Seats
21
Task Seats
0
Per Cent of Inmate Population Seated
3
Area (in square feet)
1200
Law Library Facilities
General Seats
Task Seats
Area (in square feet)

8

6

1750

Access and Use
Hours Open per Week
Circulation to Walk-in Users
In-Library Use
Direct Circulation to Isolation
Deposit Circulation to Isolation

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

40
45
38
58
64
8094 12000 15239 27872 35511
7800 13508 18016 36336 58918
582 1500 2373 5000 10081
600 1000 2340 4500
200

Page43

APPENDIX G

ROLE SELECTION AND OUTPUT MEASURES
This edition of Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions is similar in format
and approach to the 1981 edition. It presents standards in a way that is familiar and
particularly useful in planning a new facility because the exact numbers of items needed are
specified. However, many libraries, particularly public and academic, are moving away
from quantitative standards. They are devising new methods to guide their development.
These approaches attempt to do three things:
1. Measure quality, not just quantity

2. Provide flexible standards that relate to the library's goals, and
3. Derive standards based on actual research into a library's performance.
The following is a very brief explanation of this new approach.

ROLES

Different libraries exist for different purposes and serve different patrons and, therefore,
must provide different services, programs, and collections. For example, a large university
library's mission might emphasize research needs, whereas a public library might focus more
on recreational reading.
Not all correctional institutions have the same mission and population. Therefore, the
libraries will vary depending on the purposes of the institutions they serve. For example,
in large facilities with many long-term inmates, the library might appropriately take an
active role in supporting educational programs. In a small institution with short-tenn
inmates, the library might give more attention to recreational reading programs. In order
to provide quality service, a correctional library must determine its mission and develop
services and programs to support it.
To help libraries define their missions and plan services that fulfill them, the Public Library
Association (PLA) has defined and described eight roles that a library might fulfill along
with a methodology for selecting those roles that are most appropriate. Six of these PLA
roles can be readily adapted for correctional library use. They are: Community Activity
Center, Community Information Center, Formal Education Support Center, Independent
Learning Center, Popular Materials Library, and Reference Library.
The first step in determining what roles are appropriate for a library is to examine the
Library Standards fc:.- Adult COITeetional Institutions 1992

mission of the institution it serves. Library roles must be compatible with the facility's
mission. Next, analyze the demographics of library users: age, length of sentence, level of
education, reading levels, proximity to release, etc. Finally, determine what other programs
and services are available in the institution: - education, recreation, information,
entertainment, etc. From this information, appropriate roles can be selected for the library.
Roles may be selected for primary or secondary emphasis. Choices should be limited to one
or two in each category. Selecting more than that defeats the purpose of defining the
mission so tiat the library may specialize. Roles that are not selected are not abandoned
entirely, but are offered at a basic, maintenance level. For example, if a library did not
choose "Reference Library" it would still answer ready reference questions. It would not,
however, develop a comprehensive reference collection and hire reference subject
specialists. The manual developed by PLA, Planning and Role Setting for Public Libraries,
gives detailed instructions for the role selection process.
OliTPUT MEASURES

Quantitative standards are one method of assessing the performance of a library. They are
very useful for library planners who need to know how much of what to buy. However, they
do not measure quality very well. For example, two libraries might each have collections
of lO,OOQ books, but one collection was carefully selected to meet the needs of the
population while the other is an accumulation of discards from other libraries.
To address "this difference, libraries are adopting another approach to measuring library
service, that is, output measures. "What percentage of people who walk into the library
today will leave with the title they wanted in hand?" The output measure called "Title Fill
Rate" answers this question. It is determined by asking everyone who comes into the library
during a week's time if they found the title they sought. Knowing that the "Title Fill Rate"
is 85% is more significant than knowing that the library owns 10,000 books or 4.2 books per
capita.
Once roles have been selected and programs developed to support those roles, measurement
of the quality of the library service becomes more exact. For example, if a library's primary
role is to serve as a "Popular Materials Library", then its effectiveness will be shown by high
"Circulation Per Capita" and "Title Fill Rate" measures. However, a library whose primary
role is "Formal Education Support Center" would demonstrate effectiveness by high
"In-Library Materials Use Per Capita" and "Reference Completion Rate" measures. The
PLA manual Output Measures for Public Libraries describes the output measures in detail
and tells how to determine them.
While working on this revised edition of the standards, the Subcommittee field tested
selected output measures in correctional libraries in institutions of varying size and security
level. Tests were done in New Mexico, Florida, Oklahoma and Massachusetts. From this
preliminary study, it appears that the output measures and the procedures described by ~LA
are feasible and can yield good results in correctional libraries. They are most useful for
determining to what extent a library is fulfilling its role.

Libmy Standards for Aduh Correctional Institutions 1992

Page 45

BIBLIOGRAPHY
The following publications and documents were useful in preparation of these standards.
They will also be helpful for librarians and administrators working to implement the
standards.

American Correctional Association.
MD: ACA, 1966.

A Manual of Correctional Standards. College Park,

American Correctional Association. Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions. 3rd ed.
Laurel, MD: ACA, 1990.
American Library Association. Libnuy Education and Personnel Utilization. Chicago:
ALA/OLPR, 1970.
American Library Association. Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library
Agencies. Librazy Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions. Chicago: ASCLA, 1981.
American Library Association. Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library
Agencies. Librazy Standards for Jails and Detention Facilities. Chicago: ASCLA, 1981.
American Library Association. Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library
Agencies. Standards and Guidelines for Client Library Services in Residential Mental
Health Facilities. Chicago: ASCLA, 1987.
American Library Association. Office for Intellectual Freedom.
Manual. 3rd ed. Chicago: ALA, 1989.

Intellectual Freedom

American Prison Association. Librazy Manual for Correctional Institutions. Edited by Edwin
Freedman. New York: APA, 1950.
Correctional Education Association. Standards for Adult and Juvenile Correctional
Education Programs. · College Park, MD: CEA, 1988.
Dahlgren, Anders C. Public Librazy Space Needs: A Planning Outline.
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 1988.

Madison, WI:

Holt, Raymond M. Planning Librazy Buildings and Facilities: From Conc<mt to Completion.
Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1989.

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

Page 46

Illuminating Engineering Society. IES Lighting Handbook--1987 Aru>lication Volume. New
York: llluminating Engineering Society of North America, 1987. ,_ , _

[)McClure, Charles R., et al. Planning and Role Setting for Public Libraries. Chicago: ALA,
1987.
Van House, Nancy A., et al. Output Measures for Public Libraries. Chicago: ALA, 1987.

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions 1992

 

 

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