The Community Services Librarian At The Chicopee Public Library

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This presentation was designed for a public library as part of its outreach initiative. The community services librarian at the Chicopee Public Library was invited to conduct presentations about public library services for individuals participating in the After Incarceration Support System of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department.
The After Incarceration Support Systems Program (AISS) is designed to educate, prepare and assist the inmate population with transitioning back into the community. Key components of the program include 1) Working with the inmate within the correctional center prior to release and 2) Working with the offender post-release in the community with an emphasis on a continuum of services. The primary goals of AISS are: reduce recidivism, improve public safety and support the whole person (AISS website, retrieved 7/19/15) The library presentation took place post-release as part of the community collaboration the AISS. The main feature of the program is its holistic, relational approach to working with the offenders and the largely voluntary participation of the offenders (Howe, M., Collins, K. & Engel, L., 2006). . The staff in the women’s program have remained same since the start of the program, and staff members perform “inreach” to incarcerated individuals to begin to form relationships (Howe, M., Collins, K. & Engel, L. 2006). Staff members “meet clients where they are,” and stay with them through the ups and downs of reentry,

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