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Interview Questions for Corrections Librarians

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Kathleen Houlihan
Interview Questions for Corrections Librarians

Patrick Jones provided this brilliant list, which only needs a few tweaks to be appropriate for a juvie facility:

  1. Tell me about any paid or volunteer experience you have had working with incarcerated adults or juveniles,
  2. Tell me about your education and experience with reference, in particular readers advisory
  3. ell me about your experience working with underserved communities
  4. Have you read the ALA core documents related to intellectual freedom?  If yes, please describe their application to library services at the Adult Correctional Facility? 
  5. How do you balance those intellectual freedom needs against those of the facility to maintain a safe environment and the county's desired outcome of offender change? 
  6. Tell me about a library program that you planned, implemented and evaluated. 
  7. One task in this job is to coordinate the Read To Me, Daddy, Read To Me, Mommy programs promoting early literacy.  Tell me about your experience with early literacy programs. 
  8. What questions do you have for us about this position or the Outreach Department? 
Kathleen Houlihan
Dena Gould's thoughts...


One question you want answered "What experience can show evidence of them wanting to work with this population?"  Have they volunteered anything, anywhere? In my opinion anybody can show proof of paid position(everybody needs the money) but volunteering proves their commitment to a specific population.


Dena Gould

MLIS Candidate

Kathleen Houlihan
Betsey's the last one!


*Why do you want to work with this population?

*What is your experience with this population?

*What thoughts and feelings come to mind when you imagine yourself offering reading suggestions while being virtually surrounded by a bunch of big, tattooed seventeen year old boys? 


Betsey Stahler


Juvenile Detention Branch

Pima County Public Library

Dale Clark
Dale Clark's picture
Questions for Interviewee

I'm not sure how to make this a question, but, having a good sense of humour goes a very long way! I find it interesting about people's experience, because I came to my detention centre with a background in elementary education/librarianship! I had been to the detention centre's Christmas party, but I'm not sure that was "experience." With that in mind, I think Betsey's last question is the best one so far! But here are a few more thoughts...

What is your background in young adult literature and in particular street lit?
What do you enjoy reading?
Do you have an interest in working with other staff (teachers) in planning, collaboration and assisting with their programs? (I am assuming most of us are attached to a secondary school within the facility) This could be divided into a number of different questions about the programs that are offered in individual centres.

Dale Clark
Fraser Park Secondary
Burnaby Youth Detention Centre

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