An assessment and comparison of resources and services available in men's and women's state prison libraries Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/5425kf93z

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  • The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a difference in the resources and library services in men's and women's state prison facility libraries, and to determine to what extent the librarians who administer services to inmates in prisons believe the resources available are adequate in giving library service to the inmates. A questionnaire was sent to the librarians in charge of the library in all women's institutions in the United States and to a random sample of men's institutions. A total of seventy-three questionnaires were completed and returned; thirty-nine from male institutions, twenty-three from female institutions, and eleven from co-ed institutions. The data from the questionnaires were tabulateds-using the Statistical Package of the Social Sciences (SPSS-PC). Major comparisons between the male and female institutions included: 1) the size of the institutions with the size of the library collection, 2) the size of the institutions with the resources available to inmates, and 3) the comparison of resources and services between the men's and women's institutions. Based on the results of the study, the following conclusions were reached: 1) men's institutions had much larger inmate populations than women's institutions, 2) men's institutions had only slightly more books and journals than women's institutions, and 3) because there were fewer females per institution, females had many more resources available per inmate than men. A second analysis was performed to compare male and female institutions within categories of similar size to determine whether or not the differences in the materials and services which were found to be outstanding or significantly different in the first analysis would remain valid. Data from both analyses indicated that women's institutions, in most cases, had more resources and services available than men's institutions regardless of the size of the institution. The majority of librarians in both men's and women's institutions believed they were able to support their goals and objectives, and most were satisfied with the services they were able to provide. A review of the literature indicated that similar problems have existed in prisons from the early 1800's to the present. Those problems, still recurrent, are theft, insufficient funding, overcrowding, and lack of administrative support for prison libraries.
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