North Carolina Libraries, Vol 71, No 1 (2013)

Library Services to Inmates in the Rural County Jails of Western North Carolina

Gillian D Ellern, Karen Mason


This paper investigates the current statues of library collections and services in the rural jails in western North Carolina. The authors interviewed the sheriffs and jail administrators in 6 of the 7 western most county detention centers.  The benefits of reading and importance of literacy to this underserved population, descriptions the collections and library service policies along with photographs of the actual book collections and the challenges the jails face in maintaining and delivering these services, are presented. This paper advocates that one possible solution to this situation is working towards building partnerships between the public library systems and their local jails and how that can benefits everyone in the community. 

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North Carolina Libraries is the official publication of the North Carolina Library Association.