Getting It Out of Your System: Services You Didn’t Know Your System Provided
State Correctional Facilities and County Jails
By: Tim Burke, Executive Director Upper Hudson Library System
Under New York State Education Law and Commissioner's Regulations, Public Library Systems in New York State are required to provide Coordinated Outreach Library Services directly and through their member libraries to New Yorkers who are most in need and who often are not regular library users. One of these service targets is the institutionalized population in both the State Correctional Facilities and in the County Jails. Each System receives support in their annual State Aid according to the inmate population at each State and County facility within the System. The services that Systems provide vary by System and the type of facility, but typically include professional consultation with facility staff on collection development and library organization, selecting and supplying new books, reference materials, and magazine/newspaper subscriptions for the facility library, interlibrary loan services, programming and other information for the facility residents, etc.
The service area of the Upper Hudson Library System, Albany and Rensselaer Counties, includes two county jails which we support by providing annually refreshed popular fiction and non-fiction book collections, as well as book material on 12-step support, devotional readings, daily meditations and self-help guides. To learn more about how public library systems help to connect the state’s institutionalized populations with essential library service please contact your local public library system.