Thursday, June 01, 2023

New Université de Montréal Library School Thesis on Services to Inmates

The Université de Montréal website Papyrus just published the text of Romy Otayek's Master's Thesis on library services to Quebec prison inmates, Portrait actuel des services de bibliothèque dans le milieu carcéral québécois (text in French).

It is an infrequently studied topic in Canada:

"The presence of a library in a prison environment brings benefits to prisoners. It is a source of leisure, education and access to information in a highly secure and limiting environment. The prison library is supported by the statements of the United Nations for the treatment of prisoners, the UNESCO Public Library Manifesto and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) which highlight its benefits. Studies have been conducted in different countries in the presence, management and roles of the prison library in different types of correctional institutions. However, very few studies have been published in Canada and none in Quebec since 1973. Thus, the research aims to draw a portrait of the library services offered in detention facilities under Quebec's jurisdiction. The realization of this descriptive research has been done through a documentary research and a survey with the people managing the libraries using an online questionnaire. The results of this study show that all establishments offer library services in detention centres under provincial jurisdiction in Quebec. The results show that prisoners cannot use services on site or directly access documents in almost all establishments. In addition, there is a lack of diversity in the document supports, few activities are proposed, and no technological resources are accessible. These results enrich a section of librarianship that is little treated by providing current data on the situation in the province’s detention facilities. They shed light on an often invisible segment of the population for whom the library is important and pave the way for future research on the subject." [English abstract]

 Other Library Boy posts on the topic:

  • New UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning Book on Prison Libraries (October 28, 2019): "The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning has published the first UNESCO publication on prison libraries, highlighting their contribution to the personal development and education of incarcerated adults and young people (...) The open access e-book was launched at the most recent conference in August of the  International Federation of Library Associations in Athens."
  • Most Recent Issue of the Canadian Law Library Review (March 8, 2023): "Check out the feature article on p. 9 by Danielle Noonan Readers’ Advisory Services in Canadian Prisons: 'Library services in Canadian prisons have often been influenced by American standards. There is little research on libraries in Canadian prisons, and of that research it is evident that readers’ advisory services in prisons are nearly nonexistent. The following article  overviews 1981 and 1984 recommendations to the Correctional Service of Canada and a 2003 national survey about the operation of prison libraries. Through a comparison of the  American Library Association’s criteria and the current state of Canadian prison libraries, this article identifies the issues and proposes solutions that would enable prison librarians  to meet the recommended standards for readers advisory services in prisons'."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:17 pm


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