Julia Weist interviewt in ihrer Blog-Serie „Librarian in the Spotlight“ den Bibliothekar Nicholas Higgins, der für die New York Public Library arbeitet – aber nicht in einer gewöhnlichen Zweigstelle, sondern auf Rikers Island, wo eines der größten Gefängnisse der Welt untergebracht ist.
„The dorm areas look different at each jail. Some are open with several rows of beds on the floor, and others have a large common area surrounded by perimeter of individual cells. When we enter an area we announce that the library is there and the inmates will form a line and those who have books to return from the previous week will get first choice at the book cart. One of us, usually Luis, will check in the books and our volunteer(s) and I will help the inmate choose another book for the week. These men and women will often ask for suggestions and sometimes we have time to talk about what they like to read and what they found interesting about the books they have read. This is regular library work at its best in my opinion. It also may be the first time all week that someone has looked them in the eye and asked them their opinion about anything. ‚What did you think of the book?‘ A question like that goes a long way with some of the people we see at Rikers“.
Das ganze Interview gibt’s auf http://thedeskset.org/?p=2349. Siehe dazu auch den Praktikumsbericht „Controlled Chaos: A Day Working the Rikers Island Book Cart“ von Jamie Niehof und den Artikel „A Library for Those With Plenty of Time to Read“ von Corey Kilgannon.