Comprehensive Library Services Performed by Correctional Facility Libraries served by the Mid-Hudson Library System
Inmates depend on the library for information to assist with decision-making about circumstances in their life, including consumer skills, prerelease skills and finding employment.
The library makes a significant contribution in the day-to-day affairs of facility residents by providing information to assist with the circumstances of their life. Individuals who require information to deal with personal decisions will often start their search at the library. The library provides accessible and reliable self-help information and is an important resource in times of transition.
Correctional Facility libraries served by MHLS are able to extend the walls of the facility's library through book carts to other locations within the facility, interlibrary loan requests for materials the library doesn't own and the ability of the librarian to access centralized reference services to answer patron's informational needs.
The library collection supports the ongoing process of learning and developing new skills, frequently contributing to specific occupational goals of individuals. The library contributes to lifelong learning as residents investigate career interests and upgrade skills. A secondary benefit is familiarity in the use of a traditional informal education system - the library.
There is a growing emphasis placed on developing new skills and interests. Residents look to the library to support their efforts at lifelong learning. Library resources complement the resources found in the education programs.
Students are a significant and important part of the library's users. The library's role in educating the community residents clearly has long-term benefits to the students and to the community.
The library is the primary source of recreational reading materials for many residents. Recreational reading is not just a pleasant way to use one's discretionary time; it maintains literacy skills. The International Adult Literacy Survey found strong evidence that literacy is maintained through practice - like a muscle. If not used regularly, it atrophies.
The library, by providing broad resources for reading, contributes strongly to positive transmission of values and mores, intergenerational values, and cultural and social norms.
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