At the radio we're reminded again and again of the vitality of art and language, a power which can be used to disrupt damaging structural and generational stigmas. And historically the radio has proven to be a useful tool for providing a platform to individuals whose voices are isolated from the general public or for providing resources on important and suppressed subject matter.
Last March, Wendy Jason, the manager of the ➚Justice Arts Coalition website, organized a segment called ➚The Art of Moving On which brought together several people with varying relationships to art and the prison system. A few months later, Stacy sat down for a conversation with Emily Jacobson, the Correctional Services Supervising Librarian at the New York Public Library. Emily opened the first dedicated library space on Rikers Island in 2016 where she now runs circulating library services for women, transgender, and GNC people. She also manages the NYPL's Reference by Mail program which provides research through the mail for people in prison.
The work of people like Wendy and Emily is crucial and we hope these segments are the first of many on MPR to highlight their efforts and the voices of those they serve.
For further reading and listening about Emily's field of work, visit the following links, and listen to the segment ➚here:
➚Reference Services to Incarcerated People, Part I: Themes Emerging from Answering Reference Questions from Prisons and Jails
➚Reference Services to Incarcerated People, Part II: Sources and Learning Outcomes
➚Change-Makers: Librarians Bring Books and Answers to Rikers (WNYC)