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Down for the Count: A Prison Library Handbook Hardcover – March, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0810829275 ISBN-10: 0810829274

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Scarecrow Press (March 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810829274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810829275
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.7 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,723,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Until recently, the area of correctional facility libraries has been overlooked in the professional library literature. Now, two handbooks have appeared. Vogel's Down for the Count is the better of the two. Rhea Rubin's Libraries Inside: A Practical Guide for Prison Librarians (Professional Reading, LJ 4/1/95) covers the same material but comes up with conflicting solutions. Using her own experience as a correctional facility librarian (she is coordinator of Maryland Correctional Education Libraries/Maryland State Department of Education and was Library Journal's Librarian of the Year for 1989, LJ, January 1990, p. 46-48), Vogel discusses library management, technology, book selection, staff, budgeting, and interior decorating in 15 chapters. She also includes chapters with intriguing titles as "Staff: Civilian and Inmate: Falling in Love and Other Pitfalls" and "They Become What They Beheld." Sadly, neither handbook may have a very long shelf life. Views of correctional facilities are changing, budgets are being cut, and libraries are closing or being put under inmate control. Correctional facilities libraries finally have been discovered, but they may go out of existence before they can enjoy their new role.?Frances Sandiford, Green Haven Correctional Facility Lib., Stormville, N.Y.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.


This volume proves rewarding. (Lib. Ass. Rec.)

Vogel's handbook outlines procedures to put in place a prison library that will both serve and benefit inmates. (Corrections Compendium)

...a useful addition to a staff library where a service to prisons is provided, and it contains much basic information which would be of especial value to those who have little experience of prison libraries. (Journal Of Documentation)

...gritty, realistic and practical, and written with passion and caring. This one is a honey! (Eric Moon)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert M. Stearns on July 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In this highly readable, passionate account of applying library science principles in a correctional setting, Ms.Vogel has performed an invaluable service to librarians and the inmates they work with. She describes lucidly the struggles librarians have had with uninterested and even hostile correctional professionals, and she presents constructive solutions. She details the problems of working with inmates, including the behaviors to watch out for. The book goes into the dilemma of preserving the principles of freedom of information while still adhering to rules that restrict inmates from acquiring "dangerous" knowledge (for example, texts that describe how locks function). Concise yet complete descriptions are given of prison library history and the research (or unfortunate dearth of it) that has gone into this vital but neglected area of librarianship. There is an extensive bibliography of useful sources. The need for legal as well as leisure reading sources is covered well. Vogel is perhaps too pessimistic about the library's role in providing rehabilitation, although those of us who have been exposed to the politics of correctional institutions can see why she would have this point of view. But Down For The Count is on the whole a landmark work that underscores why prison libraries must be grounded in the major principles of library science. It is an essential work that should be read not just by prison librarians but anyone truly interested in advancing correctional education.
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Format: Hardcover
What is it like to work in a prison library? To stock books inmates will read? To navigate the miserable politics within prison systems? Brenda Vogel covers those issues and more. Invaluable for current librarians and a terrific guide for future ones. I wish that she could update the book every two years or so--are things changing? Is there more hope out there than she had when she drafted this book?
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