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Data-Driven Librarianship in Corrections

Overview

Data-Driven Librarianship in Corrections (DDLC) is an initiative of the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) that brings attention to the pressing issues and opportunities facing correctional libraries today. It combines data-driven approaches in corrections with data-driven library practice.

Beginning in May 2018, NIC will host a series of webinars aimed at helping jurisdictions maximize the benefits of their use of the library with offender populations. Each webinar covers a different topic of librarianship and provides opportunities for participants to engage with speakers through interactive activities and discussion.

The date and time for the latest session is displayed at the bottom of the page as the last purple accordion item, titled: Measuring the Effect of Library Usage.

Learning Objectives

  • Define and apply data-driven librarianship practices in correctional settings
  • Evaluate existing correctional library programs and apply strategies that foster continuous improvement
  • Become informed about new technologies and approaches for learning, management, programming, and outreach when working with offender populations

Who Should Participate

Librarians working with offender populations in either public or correctional settings; correctional officers, correctional executives, and offender recreation and/or education specialists with oversight of library operations; law and legal librarians; academics and researchers in library and information science with an interest in corrections

This Session took place on November 13, 2018, 2 pm EST.

A 2016 report sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education noted that incarcerated adults with access to library services other than a law library scored higher in literacy and numeracy than incarcerated adults without access on a survey conducted by the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. While the study does not address why or how library services played a role in the success of incarcerated adults, it does highlight the question. In fact, the effect of library services on learning is an issue that academic libraries have attempted to address for years. In this DDLC webinar series session, representatives from the National Institute for Learning Outcomes and the Association of College Research Libraries share how their organizations have been tackling the issue.

NILOA begins by providing an introduction on current practices and future trends in assessing and documenting learning. They then uncover efforts that are unfolding to capture and document evidence of student learning outside of traditional curricular experiences. ACRL will then explain how they have been focusing on helping academic libraries and librarians demonstrate alignment with and impact on institutional outcomes.

By the end of this session, you learn how academic libraries have approached assessment in recent years and examine how some of these efforts may be adapted for use in a correctional setting.

 

Assessing Learning in Your Library [Webinar]

Expanding on Ranganathan’s five laws, we know that libraries are for use and that every library has its community (users). In order to ensure that a library is meeting the needs of its users, the library must be able to assess its services, including its collections, and understand how those are meeting the requirements of its community. This webinar will investigate the assessment activities that a library can utilize to determine the needs of its community, as well as those assessments which can help a library assure that a service is meeting its community’s desires. Specific assessments, which can be completed in any type of environment, will be discussed and examples given.

Assessment, Your Library, and Your Collections [Webinar]

Webinar held May 30, 2018

Evidenced based library and information practice (EBLIP) evolved from evidence based medicine two decades ago when a group of health sciences librarians thought that the process they saw doctors using had something to offer librarianship. Since then, EBLIP has shifted and evolved. EBLIP can be used in any type of library to assist with decision-making, aid in developing policy, and support decisions, requests, and procedures. EBLIP is a way of working that incorporates various types of information into decision-making. The benefit of practicing in an evidence based way is that not only can decision-making be improved upon, but also it can increase confidence when there is appropriate evidence to support decisions. This webinar will take participants through the steps of EBLIP in such a way that you can begin to incorporate EBLIP into your practice right away. Then, we will look at specific uses of EBLIP and explore how you can incorporate evidence based practice at your own workplace.

How To Use Research in Practice [Webinar]

Learn about how one university library measured the effects of first-time-college students’ library use on their success outcomes. Apply these same approaches to more confidently measure the effects of library programs on offender outcomes in correctional settings. Using Generalized Propensity Scoring (GPS) and/or Precision Matching (PM) you can hone in how your library program affects your participants and rule out other factors that may have affected the result. For example, you want to measure the effectiveness of a literacy program on preventing first-time offender recidivism while controlling for their background educational level and family income.

Measuring the Effect of Library Usage [Webinar]

Webinar held July 18, 2018.

Dr. Jane Garner presents the details and findings of a recent doctoral study that focused on the experiences of using libraries in prisons from the prisoner perspective. Her presentation explains the reasons why this study was undertaken, the research methodology and methods, and the major findings. The study found that libraries in prisons can have a positive influence on prisoner education, behavior management, and personal transformations as well as support positive links to communities and families outside prison. The study provides ample evidence of the positive experiences offered by prison libraries. Dr. Garner discusses the importance of data-driven studies, such as her own in examining and understanding the role of libraries in prisons. Her study demonstrates that prison libraries have the potential to contribute positively to offender outcomes, both during their time in prison, and in their lives upon release, and that these benefits can flow on to the families of prisoners and to the broader community.

Offender Use of the Library [Webinar]

Webinar held May 2, 2018

Blythe Balistrieri discusses the ways in which the general correctional library and law libraries can partner, the challenges correctional librarians must negotiate daily, and how to streamline correctional library operations. Her presentation covers some of the history of correctional libraries, challenges that these libraries can face, and how librarians can work to alleviate some of them. Professor Balestrieri listed five actions that correctional library staff can take to combat some of their challenges: Advocacy, Communication, Education, Training and Team Building. Makes reference to court cases Bounds v. Smith, Thornburgh v. Abbot, Lewis v. Casey.

Working Effectively with the Law Library [Webinar]
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