Guidelines for Library Services to Prisoners

by Vibeke Lehmann and Joanne Locke

Series: IFLA Professional Reports 92


The objective of this document is to provide a tool for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of library services to prisoners. The document is intended to serve as a model guide for the development of national guidelines for prison libraries. It can be easily adapted to reflect local circumstances. At the same time, these international guidelines reflect an acceptable level of library service, which could be achieved in most countries where national and local government policies support the existence of prison libraries. The guidelines represent a tool for planning new libraries and for evaluation of existing libraries. In the absence of any local guidelines or standards, these guidelines can be used.

In addition to being a practical tool for the establishment, operation, and assessment of prison libraries, these guidelines shall serve as a general statement of principle for the fundamental right of prisoners to read, learn, and access information. The guidelines are aimed at librarians, library administrators, prison authorities, legislative and administrative branches of government, and other agencies/authorities that are responsible for administering and funding prison libraries.

The guidelines apply to prisons and other incarceration facilities with a population of 50 or more.

Guidelines for library services to prisoners
By Vibeke Lehmann and Joanne Locke
The Hague, IFLA Headquarters, 2005. - 24p. 30 cm.
(Revised version of IFLA Professional Report 46)
ISBN-13 978 - 90-77897-07-0

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Standards, Library Services to People with Special Needs

Last update: 3 July 2020