The Library, the foundation of the NIC Information Center, was developed to fulfill a legislative mandate for a library/information center to collect, prepare, and disseminate information on corrections as well as maintain special collections for the corrections field and the National Corrections Academy in order to aid the National Institute of Corrections in the development of a more effective and humane correctional system.
Since 1979, the library and information center have evolved in scope and technical sophistication. Automated information systems provide rapid access to the library's extensive holdings. Through NIC, library and other resources are tapped by the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Prisons, and Committees of the U.S Congress. In the first years of operation, the NIC established the core elements that still distinguish its library and information center from any other:
- A unique focus on corrections, creating a single source for the latest materials supplemented by referrals to the resources nationwide.
- A constant contact with the field, focusing acquisitions and information services on the practical needs of corrections professionals.
- Direct work for requestors by staff with library and corrections experience.
- Prompt service at no charge.
The Library and NIC Collections
The library maintains several specialized collections including the NIC agency publications as well as corrections-related materials, evidence-based research and resources from a variety of peer-reviewed authoritative sources. It's primary collection is the NIC publications database and archives. The collections also include unpublished, operationally-oriented resources developed by correctional agencies for use by practitioners in the field. These are items such as policies, procedural manuals, reports, newsletters, and training materials. The library also collects published materials on correctional topics and serves as a distribution center and archive for NIC publications. Cataloged resources are supplemented by serial literature, database access, and agency documentation such as annual reports.
Information Center services provide access to the Online Library. In 2016, thousands of people have contacted the Information Center and were assisted with hundreds of topics. Some of the subjects of the greatest inquiry included:
- Cognitive Behavioral Programs (Thinking for a Change)
- Staff Training and Wellness
- Offender Reentry
- and many, many more
For more information on trending corrections topics, please visit our Topics in Corrections page. The library also provides research support to corrections practitioners through our Online Help Desk.
Who does the Library serve?
The NIC Library serves practitioners and policy makers at the local, state, and federal levels of government, as well as researchers and other professionals concerned about correctional issues. Our staff respond to more than 8,000 information requests annually.
The NIC Information Center connects NIC, local, state and national corrections professionals with specialized and authoritative corrections resources and research that informs policy and training practices to optimize leadership and performance in the corrections field.
The NIC Information Center is the preeminent resource of corrections-related material for corrections professionals and staff. We provide a value-added service, utilizing the latest technology in a modern atmosphere that encourages learning and growth.
Submitting Items to the Library
New item suggestions and recommendations are always welcome. If you know of an item that would be a good addition to one of the library's collections, please let the library staff know by contacting us. We encourage materials that are professionally produced and available electronically (preferably in their original, editable format as well as in PDF, in the case of print documents).