This week we’re joined by Dr. Jeanie Austin to discuss their research on information services for incarcerated people. We discuss the way mailroom policies and content bans have inherent anti-Black and anti-LGBT bigotry, and how these policies cut off incarcerated people from their communities. We talk about how LIS as a field has abandoned its role in providing information services to incarcerated people and how we can learn lessons from the librarians of the 70s.


Austin, J., Charenko, M, Dillon, M. and Lincoln, J. (2020). Systemic oppression and the contested ground of information access for incarcerated people. Open Information Science. 4(1), 169-185.

Austin, J. and Villa-Nicholas, M. (2019). Information provision and the carceral state: Race and reference beyond the idea of the “underserved.” The Reference Librarian. 60(4), 233-261.

Jeanie’s book - Library Services and Incarceration: Recognizing Barriers, Strengthening Access 

Jeanie’s website -

Jeanie’s research in the ALA archives - 

Referenced in the episode:

Abolitionist Library Association: 

Earhustle podcast -
Drakeo - GTL the prison phone 

Tracie D. Hall, A Hurting Thing - 

Tracie D. Hall, Defending the Fifth Freedom - 

Resist Everything Except Temptation - 

Prisoners Pay to Read - 

When Biometrics Fail - 


Prison Book Program - Find a local organization here. 

A Room of One's Own wish list for LGBT prisoners - 

Books to Prisoners - 

TGI Justice - 

Reforma Children in Crisis - 

PEN America - 

Black and Pink PenPal Network - 

Prison Library Support Network (PLSN)- 

Chicago Books to Women in Prison - 

LGBT Books to Prisoners -

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