University of Wisconsin–Madison

Student Group Feature: Jail Library Group

Fall 2019 Student Group Features

Take some time to check out our wonderful iSchool organizations to learn more about how our students are becoming better scholars and community members. Every two weeks we will be profiling a new student group so you can see how they contribute to the iSchool, prepare for their future careers, and have fun! Read the features and find out how you can support groups and participate!

JLG Processing Party in the iSchool Library

Jail Library Group

Describe your student organization.

Jail Library Group provides resources to people who are incarcerated in Dane County jails by filling requests and curating a collection that will meet the needs of this population. Our hope is that these folks feel heard and seen through this service, as well as receive valuable resources that will serve to both entertain and educate.

How big is your group? How often do you meet and where?

Our group is composed of a tight-knit group of volunteers, including four officers and a faculty adviser, as well as students and many community members. We have a regular monthly processing party, whose dates can be found on our website, at which we process materials for integration into our collections, including magazines and books. Every week, a minimum of two volunteers spend 2-4 hours in each of the two jails to fill requests from the people who are incarcerated. 

How does your group work to prepare members for future careers in libraries, archives, or other institutions?

Not only does filling requests for people who are incarcerated provide a great opportunity to get comfortable with readers advisory, we also use principles of collection maintenance, including selection, processing, shelving, deselection, and withdrawal. We also challenge members to understand principles of intellectual freedom, including the Prisoners’ Right to Read

Who are your organization’s leaders?

Dorothea Salo – faculty adviser, Kara Coffman – PSB Officer, Minda Maurer – PSB Officer, Sarah McKinsey – CCB Officer, Bailey Anderson – CCB Officer, Social Media Coordinator, Treasurer

Are there upcoming events or meetings for your group?

  • Processing party dates – 
    • November 17
    • December 15
    • January 12
    • February 16
    • March 15
    • April 12
    • May 17

Check out more about the Jail Library Group!

  • Website –
  • Facebook – @JLGwisc 
  • Twitter – @JailLibGroup