LIBR 282-12
Seminar in Library Management
Topic: Correctional Library Management
Summer 2015 Greensheet

William David Mongelli, MLS

Greensheet Links
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 1st, 12:01am PST unless you are taking an intensive or a one unit or two unit class that starts on a different day. In that case the class will open at 12:01am PST on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.


Apart from the email link above, here are some other ways to stay in touch with me:

Work phone: (508) 660-5900, x390

Best times to call:  Monday-Friday /10:30AM-5:30PM PST
Please don’t hesitate to call me with any Course question you may have.  (NOTE: Because of prison logistics, I may not immediately be able to return your call. Leave your number & question, and I'll get in touch with you).

“Please Advise!” Forum
In the corrections racket, we send each other lots of memos.  When we need an answer to a perplexing problem, at the end of the memo we type: "Please advise."  Accordingly, I ask you to please post general questions about course logistics or content in our “Please Advise!” discussion forum.  This is where you can find my responses to your queries regarding assignments, due dates, readings, resources, etc.  I will check here several times a day and post answers as needed.

Content Caveat.  I reserve the right to make reasonable changes to the assignments and course schedule, but will always notify you.

Course Description

Correctional Library Management examines the history, methods, and underlying correctional theory of correctional librarianship, and how these are applied when managing collections, inmate clerks, and inmate patrons.  Each week, students will examine one (or more) of the 14 guiding principles of effective correctional library management (see below for Course Schedule).  Our text is Libraries in Prisons: A Blending of Institutions, which remains the single most important treatise on correctional Librarianship whose arguments and ideas are grounded in correctional theory.  This text will challenge your existing notion(s) of what is required of a professional Librarian in a correctional environment.  We will examine the theoretical underpinnings of its revolutionary ideas in the weekly Discussions.

Course Requirements

Course Canvas Access
The Correctional Library Management Canvas course will be available by Monday, June 1, 2015.

Required Text
Libraries in Prisons: A Blending of Institutions/ William J. Coyle.  Ordering information can be found below.

Recommended text
CONSentrating On The Law: A Program of Self-Directed Legal Research for Prison Course Givers is not required.  But if you are interested in learning as much as you can about the correctional classroom dynamic and delivering program content to prisoners, this book will be helpful to you.  This title can be purchased through the publisher: 

Course Assignments

  • Group Work:  "Service Models:  Pros & Cons" (20%, supports SLO#1, SLO #2, SLO #3). As information professionals working in a correctional environment, we discover that an uneasy tension exists between the public library model of service and the therapeutic model of service defining the needs of prisoners and dictates of prison operations.  Students will be placed into two groups, with each group assigned a Service Model.  Each Group will consider the strengths and weaknesses of their Service Model in light of the management principles discussed in the course.  Each Group will submit an 8-10 page paper (APA style), citing the course text and at least three (3) sources outside of the course readingsThese mid-term papers are due on or before July 11th.
  • Case Study: "Managing the Unimaginable" (20%, supports SLO#1, SLO #2, SLO #3). Students will be presented with two case studies, each representing problems that they could face as a correctional Librarian.  Students will choose one of these and then apply as many or all of the management principles they have examined throughout the course to resolve the problem posed in the case study.  Each student will submit a five-page paper (APA style), citing the course text and at least three (3) sources outside of the course readings.  This paper is due on or before August 7th.
  • Required Readings (20%, supports SLO #1). Reading assignments are an integral part of this course, as they work hand-in-hand with our Discussions to facilitate engaging, topic-related class participation.  Apart from the required text, this course has additional required readings associated with the various Canvas modules.
  • Discussion Forums (20%, supports SLO #2, SLO #3). Each week, at 11:59PM Sunday night, I will unlock a new Discussion forum.  Each Discussion poses a question that is based on its corresponding management principle and the associated required readings.  Sharing ideas and opinions and generating lively debate is crucial to learning as much as you can about managing prison libraries, and so merits a reward equal to my other expectations of you.  I will have a daily presence in these Discussions, reviewing your posts and responding accordingly.  You are required to post early in the week, and post thoughtful responses frequently. 
  • Field work: "A Day in the Life" (20%, supports SLO #2, SLO #3). Each student will be provided with access to the Directory of Prison Librarians, and be required to develop a series of management questions to ask a working correctional Librarian.  Conduct this Librarian interview via email, phone, or in-person.  Although not required, I urge you to secure a prison tour and conduct a personal interview.  If you secure a face-2-face interview inside of a prison, I will add an additional 15% to your overall grade.  Thoughtful, well-written interviews are due on or before August 1st.


Percentage Weight Assigned To Class Assignments:

Readings 20%
Group Exercise 20%
Field Work (Interview) 20%

Discussion Forums

Persuasive Essay 20%

Penalties: Late Work/ Missed Assignments

Due Dates
Due dates are imposed upon you for sound, rational, and relevant reasons.  That’s why you shall (‘shall’ is what we legal research swells call ‘mandatory language’) submit your assignments by the posted due dates.  I do understand, of course, that Life sometimes throws us a curve we can’t hit.  If you cannot meet a deadline, you must satisfy these two (2) requirements:

  • Notify me at least 48 hours before the assignment due date; and
  • Give me one legitimate reason why the submission must be late. I am the final arbiter of whether the reason you give is 'legitimate.'

Assignment Submissions
My assumption always is that each person taking my course is a properly-disciplined graduate student who is eager to learn about corrections and correctional library services.  Rest assured, you have plenty of time for readings, Discussion postings, research, writing, and assignment submissions.  No one should fail to submit any assignment.  If you do, you must be graded accordingly.

Course Schedule

June 1-6
  • 14 Management Principles
  • Deprivation & Socialization: Walking the Correctional Tight-Rope
June 7-13
Correctional Library Roles: What Administrators Expect of the Library
June 14-20
Correctional Librarian Roles: What Administrators Expect of YOU
June 21-27
Service Philosophy: Whose library is it? And what about 'Censorship'?
June 28-July 4
Serving the Incarcerated: The Ever-Popular Librarian-Inmate Love/Hate Effect
July 5-11
Correctional Law Libraries: Helping the Helpless to Help Themselves
July 12-18
"That program helped to change my life" The Librarian in the Socialization Efffort
July 19-25
"You're only as good as the people you have" The Care & Feeding of Inmate Library Clerks
July 26-Aug 1
  • Self-Discovery: What Prison Teaches You About You
  • Humor-as-Therapy in the Correctional Library
August 2-7
  • "I'm a prison worker 1st, a Librarian 2nd" The Correctional Librarian's Mantra
  • Correctional Officers: The Librarian's Ally

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

LIBR 200, LIBR 204

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and explain therapeutic and public library models of correctional librarianship.
  2. Describe the managerial challenges that each special needs group presents in a correctional environment.
  3. Explain how modern correctional libraries are operated, what therapeutic programming is offered, and how the librarian and library are perceived by security personnel.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 282 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Recognize the diversity (such as cultural and economic) in the clientele and employees of an information organization and be familiar with actions the organization should take to address this diversity.
  2. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.


Required Textbooks:

  • Coyle, W. J. (1987). Libraries in prisons: A blending of institutions. Greenwood Press. Available through Amazon: 0313247692arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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