Graphic novels are a suitable medium for illustrating cold, hard facts. They can literally put a face on morbid, impersonal economic reality. Lois Ahrens understands this and perfects the medium well in the graphic novel, The Real Cost of Prisons Comix. This collective work, part of the Real Cost of Prisons Project, which initially began with the work of economists, reveals the human cost of the prison industry, where 2.3 million people a day are locked up in our nation’s prisons. The work is in three parts, “Prison Town,” “Prisoners of the War on Drugs,” and “Prisoners of a Hard Life.” “Prison Town” details the economic incentives behind mandatory sentencing guidelines and describes how the prison industry thrives in rural America, driving out local businesses and eroding community. “Prisoners of the War on Drugs” relates how racism, sexism, and classism fuels the prison industry. “Prisoners of a Hard Life” provides personal stories of women prisoners and their children. The illustrations, all in stark black and white, are paired beautifully with the text. Each section ends with reader responses, from community organizers to academics to prisoners and there is a glossary of terms used in the book. The series is designed as an educational tool for anyone who is interested or affected, which given current statistics, is one in every 32 Americans.
Edward Robinson-El, the new manager of D.C.’s West End Library, welcomes everyone in the library, including homeless people, but some West End Friends are not as hospitable. The issue has so divided this community that some feel it would be better to close the library for a time. See the West End Library Friends customer survey.
Care to comment? Email the DC Library: email@example.com
Whitney Malkin sees similarities between the homeless, working poor, and college students…. Here are excerpts from her article:
“Right now, with things the way they are, a lot of students just can’t afford to eat,” said Terry Capleton, who started a Facebook group called “I Ain’t Afraid to be on Food Stamps” when he was a student at Benedict College in South Carolina….
Deirdre Wilson, a junior at Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C., applied for food stamps in November because her paycheck from a work-study job didn’t stretch far enough to cover her expanding grocery bill.
The HHPTF, in partnership with the OLOS Subcommittee on Library Services to Poor and Homeless People, reported the findings from the ALA Task Force Member Survey on Policy 61.
Here is the full report:
Attendees were asked for their input as well. Your comments and suggestions are welcome and will be compiled in a final report during the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Please send us your comments and suggestions.
If you are a library actively serving the poor please share your information and resources on the Library Success Wiki page.
Join us on Saturday, June 28, 1:30-3:30 pm, at the ALA Anaheim 2008 Annual Conference in the Disneyland Hotel Dreams D room for our Building Communities Through Libraries free panel discussion.
Find out how special and academic librarians are providing information outreach services that address community needs such as healthcare, literacy and education. Special and academic librarians will talk about successful partnerships that have led to lessening the knowledge gap and reducing information impoverishment.
Speakers: John Buschman, Associate University Librarian, Georgetown University Library; Dorothy Warner, Professor-Librarian, Rider University; Nancy McKeehan, Assistant Director of Libraries for Systems, Medical University of South Carolina
Library; Eileen Abels, Master’s Program Director and Associate Professor, College of Information Science & Technology at Drexel University; Denise E. Agosto, Associate Professor, College of Information Science & Technology at Drexel University
Chair: Lisa Gieskes, Coordinator, HHPTF
Library user advocates successfully challenged San Francisco’s Public Library Link+ automated interlibrary loan system’s large fee for lost books.
SFPL patrons can now negotiate lost book replacement fees.
As more and more people fall victim to the sub-prime mortgage mess more and more people are finding themselves without a home, living in tent cities.
Springtime is one of the neediest months for families of the working poor in Minnesota (and elsewhere).
What do these families need? More food at food pantries (80% of the contributions to Minnesota’s food shelves come from individuals). Food pantries keep food that often needs to be cooked, which what working poor families can use. Those people who are homeless are often directed to homeless shelters, not food pantries.
To find a food shelf or make a contribution to one in Minnesota call 651-721-8687 ext. 331 or go to Minnesota Food Share’s website.
The University of South Carolina School of Medicine will receive a $1.2 million grant from the City of Columbia in order to implement Housing First, a program that will place 25 homeless people into apartments and homes in the city of Columbia beginning in April.
Columbia is the first Housing First program to have a medical school coordinate services for the clients.
To find out more about the project, contact David Parker, director of Supportive Housing Services at the university’s medical school firstname.lastname@example.org.