First inmate released to Spokane with library card in hand

First inmate released to Spokane with library card in hand

The Washington State Library and Spokane Public Library have partnered to help inmates getting out of prison in Washington receive a Spokane Public Library card.

Inmates getting out of prison often report a stigma that negatively affects their ability to successfully reintegrate into society.

“With this partnership in place, inmates being released to Spokane from state correctional institutions can get a Spokane Public Library card before they even leave prison,” said Laura Sherbo, WSL Branch Library Services Manager. “Instead of feeling the scrutiny of announcing at the library counter that they’ve just gotten out, inmates can now confidently and confidentially access innumerable resources to help with their transition.”

The first recipient of a library card was an inmate released on December 4 from the Washington Corrections Center for Women.

WSL plans to build on the collaboration with Spokane Public Library by eventually conducting classes and events to provide released inmates and other members of the public with learning opportunities. A similar partnership has also recently been formed between the State Library and The Seattle Public Library.