Fifty years of prison library scholarly publishing: A literature analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the existence and importance of prison libraries is noted in United Nations declarations and guidelines from correctional and library associations around the world, no attempt has been made to provide a bibliographic analysis of scholarly literature pertaining to prison library research. This article reports on an analysis of 141 scholarly journal articles published on the topic from 1970 – 2020, focusing on five areas: publication patterns over time, authorship characteristics, subject and geographic focus, publication sources and languages of publication. The outcome of this analysis revealed that scholarly publishing on prison library-related topics is a slowly growing field, but one dominated by scholars from the United States. Authors are very likely to be publishing about issues local to themselves, in the English language, and in library-related journals. They are very likely to publish only once on the topic, rather than building a thematic program of research in the area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-258
Number of pages18
JournalThe Library Quarterly
Issue number3
Early online dateJul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


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