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The Prison Library Counter

Running the Books book cover Prison libraries are both lauded as a necessary educational element of rehabilitation and criticized as a coddling of inmates. To Avi Steinberg, it was a job. For two years, Steinberg was the evening shift prison librarian at the Suffolk County House of Correction in Boston’s South Bay. His memoir, Running the Books, tells the story. Steinberg continually had to balance the idea that he worked with relatively nice patrons to the fact that these same people had been jailed for horrible crimes. Running the Books is not a story of redemption. It is an honest portrayal of a correctional system that is flawed (but trying) and the struggles of those that work and live within it.

By MPPL on February 17, 2011 Categories: Books, Nonfiction

3 Responses

  1. Larry says:

    I highly recommend this book. Avi Steinberg’s descriptions and observations on prision life and on those who are prisoners and those who are prison employees are insightful and eye-openning. His narrative is sometimes humorous and sometimes melancholy; sometimes hopeful and sometimes sad. His writing style is engaging and the text, althougth nonfiction, reads like a novel. “Running the Books” is a good read.

  2. Patty says:

    Agreed. Avi is continually having his eyes opened up by experiences most of the population will never have. Truly great read.

  3. Tim says:

    Love the title!