Incarcerated People Are Patrons Too! Improving Legal Information Services for Incarcerated People

Recorded On: 07/18/2023

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Program recordings from the 2023 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference were sponsored by LexisNexis. Please note the opinions shared during the programs represent the views of the speakers and not of AALL.

There is a movement in public libraries across the country to improve access to information resources to incarcerated people, including legal information. While many academic and public law libraries are involved in assisting incarcerated people with legal information requests and reentry services, there are many barriers to good service including limited resources, jail/prison reading material restrictions, varying literacy levels, and methods of communication. The panel discussion will focus on understanding the barriers and utilizing best practices to better serve incarcerated people, coordinate community efforts between libraries and jails/prisons, and how to get started within our institutions to better serve justice involved patrons and their families to improve access to justice.


Anyone who has an interest in serving incarcerated people with legal information. This will appeal to academic and public librarians who currently work with incarcerated patrons and want to better understand and improve services. It will also appeal to anyone who is interested in getting involved in legal information services to the incarcerated, including private librarians, chapter leaders, and those interested in social responsibility work.


  • Participants will identify the challenges of incarcerated people getting legal information resources and assistance.
  • Participants will assess direct and indirect legal information service options for incarcerated people.
  • Participants will create institutional support to get started/improve providing legal information services to incarcerated people.


  • Liz Reppe (she/her/hers), State Law Librarian, Minnesota State Law Library
  • Kurtis Tanaka, Ph.D., Senior Program Manager, Justice Initiatives, Ithaka S+R
  • Jeanie Austin, Ph.D. (they/them/theirs), Jail & Reentry Services Librarian, San Francisco Public Library


  • Diane M. Rodriguez (she/her/hers), Assistant Director, San Francisco Law Library

AALL BODY OF KNOWLEDGE DOMAINS: Research + Analysis, Marketing + Outreach

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Incarcerated People are Patrons Too
Open to view video.
Open to view video.