"My experience with the mobile library has been great. I don't think I ever read a whole book before I started going to the mobile library. Now I can say I've read over 100."
–Reader at Rikers Island jail
At Correctional Services, we rely heavily on donated books. We encourage all to please visit our regularly updated Amazon Wish List!
The New York Public Library's Correctional Services delivers a range of library programs at city, state, and federal facilities including:
- Circulating book service weekly at five city jails. Each month, 800 to 1,200 people take advantage of our mobile book program.
- Daddy & Me, a book-recording project with incarcerated parents. Parents participate in early literacy workshops to explore the lifelong benefits of reading. Parents record a favorite picture book for their children to enjoy at home and culminate the program with a special family visit.
- Weekly book discussion groups where incarcerated patrons discuss a range of literature and non-fiction in city and federal facilities.
- Library orientations and library card registrations for men at state correctional facilities. Groups nearing release receive new library cards, and information on programs and services at their neighborhood libraries.
Access Connections (PDF), an annual reentry resource guide, available to help people when they are released from incarceration. Connections also serves as a guide on preparing for the world of work. We are proud to publish the most exhaustive reentry guidebook in New York City. The book is free to those in jail and prison, and to agencies that provide services to justice-involved people.
Because of our limited print run, we ask that community based organizations try to rely on the PDF version of Connections to use with their clients. Relevant pages can be easily printed. Print copies are prioritized for soon-to-be-released individuals who have no access to the Internet at correctional facilities.
A Spanish translation of Connections 2017 is available as a PDF. Incarcerated Spanish speakers can write to NYPL Correctional Services, 445 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10016 to request up to 40 printed pages at a time. Writers should specify which chapters/resources are needed.
Una traducción al español de Conexiones 2017 está disponible en PDF. Personas que están encarceladas pueden solicitar hasta 40 páginas impresas de Conexiones 2017 a la vez que se enviarán por carta, escribiendo a 445 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10016. Escritores deben especificar qué capítulos o recursos que necesitan.
Family Video Visitation is now available at NYPL!
Families can connect with incarcerated loved ones through this free video visitation program offered at libraries across the city. Video visitation connects a live video feed between participating library locations and NYC Department of Corrections facilities, allowing incarcerated New Yorkers to talk, read, and share stories together with their loved ones. NYPL locations include: 125th Street, Grand Concourse, Hamilton Grange, Hunts Point, Melrose, Parkchester, St. George, and Tompkins Square.
Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration
In response to the growing number of children with incarcerated parents, Sesame Street has developed its newest, bilingual (English/Spanish) initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration.
The Correctional Services team is excited to collaborate with Sesame Street. We use their excellent materials in our family literacy program, to help justice-involved parents talk to their children about incarceration, with honesty and hope.