The Free Library’s Prison Services program aims to deepen all participants’ engagement with their neighborhood libraries. This toolkit was designed to help other public libraries replicate this work and launch programs of their own.
Stories Alive, the family televisiting program, encourages family literacy and family bonding using live videoconferencing stations to link incarcerated parents at the prison with their children at a neighborhood library. Stories Alive family participants receive library cards, and the incarcerated parents are offered temporary library cards that are valid for one year after their release. In most cases, official forms of identification are required to obtain a library card; the temporary library card program removes this barrier by providing immediate access to Free Library resources. This allows reentering citizens time to address any challenges obtaining proper forms of ID post-release.