CDCR librarian thanks staff during National School Library Month

A prison library.
Libraries play a vital role for education at CDCR institutions, such as this one at California Correctional Institution.

In honor of April being National School Library Month, and National School Library Week identified as April 4-9, I would like to take this opportunity to thank those in our correctional libraries who positively impact thousands of lives every day.

CDCR librarian holds books.
Brandy Buenafe, Principal Librarian for the Office of Correctional Education.

The past two years have been challenging for our schools, with education programs remaining accessible even during the necessary modified programs implemented as part of public health measures to keep all those who live and work in our institutions safe. 

You have persevered, offering support to students and opportunities to read and transform lives during one of the most impactful public health crises in recent history. 

Through you, CDCR is able to operate one of the state’s largest library systems. In 34 institutions, our 129 libraries offer a host of opportunities – legal and leisure reading, literacy skill programming, reading challenges, book clubs and essay contests.

We are also eager to partner with Freedom Reads, formerly the Million Book Project, to provide even more opportunities for readers in coming months. We strive to keep our collection current, allocating $2.2 million each year for new books, legal materials and other publications.

Our school libraries offer a window to the wider world for students as they find themselves and others in the pages of the books they read and prepare for a life beyond prison walls.

Your assistance in the operation of our ARCAID kiosk systems also allows the population to find job listings, rehabilitative programs and other vital resources before they leave our care, better preparing them for that important transition back to our communities.

Our users flourish because of the innovation and dedication of you, Senior Librarians, Librarians, and Library Technical Assistants. In honor of National School Library Month, thank you!

Brandy Buenafe, Principal Librarian, Office of Correctional Education

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