In fall 2005, students taking college-level classes in 10 Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) facilities participated in a study to examine the impact of correctional libraries on students’ academic pursuits, with emphasis on the impact of skills taught by librarians. Earlier the same year, about 3,000 undergraduate students from nine Colorado colleges and universities answered similar questions.
When comparing the answers of DOC students with these students, some notable differences are apparent.
In both correctional and academic library settings, majorities of respondents were helped by librarians to find resources. This highlights the crucial role the librarian plays in formal education and information access. Fifty-seven percent of respondents in correctional settings reported receiving this service, indicating the importance of the librarian particularly in extremely restricted environments.
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