iDiversity Book Drive for Chicago Books to Women in Prison

by Karina Hagelin

iDiversity is collecting books on behalf of Chicago Books to Women in Prison, which is an all-volunteer group that distributes paperback books free of charge to people incarcerated in women’s prisons nationwide to offer women behind bars the opportunity for self-empowerment, education, and entertainment that reading provides.

The book drive will run through the end of the Spring 2017 semester. You can donate your paperback books in our donation box in the 4th Floor Hornbake Lounge. They must be in new or good condition and published within the last ten years. We are particularly seeking:

  • Urban books
  • Contemporary African-American romance
  • True crime
  • Transgender fiction and non-fiction
  • Bisexual fiction and non-fiction
  • Dictionaries—mainly English, but also English-Spanish and other languages, as well as Bible, Scrabble and crossword puzzle dictionaries
  • Crafts (especially origami, cardmaking and crochet)
  • Drawing
  • Calligraphy
  • Puzzle books, especially Sudoku, word searches, crosswords and fill-ins
  • Recovery and addiction (general and specific substances, practical guidance and memoirs)
  • Mental health, especially depression, anxiety and trauma/PTSD
  • Legal books appropriate to the typical needs of people in prison—”jailhouse lawyer” manuals, legal research, law dictionaries, etc.
  • Starting and running a business
  • Bible dictionaries
  • Study Bibles
  • Language learning—mainly Spanish, but many others too, including American Sign Language—beginners’ and self-study books are especially useful
  • Astrology

You can find more information about donations here. Another great way to get involved in supporting incarcerated folks is to volunteer as an penpal to a LGBTQ prisoner via Black and Pink. We’ll be holding a letter-writing night soon! Stay tuned for more details.

Project Planning Meeting

iDiversity recently hosted a “Project Planning Meeting” to get moving on three new and very different projects.  Read below to see a description of each project, or watch our meeting’s video to hear us talk about each opportunity!  If you are interested in participating to any degree in any of these projects, please contact us at!

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Save the Date! Symposium on Diversity in LIS Education

The University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies, Maryland’s iSchool and the Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC) will host the Symposium on Diversity in LIS Education on April 11, 2014, at the University of Maryland, College Park campus. This event is free and open to the public, and it is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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Defining and Discussing Diversity on the International Stage at the IFLA Conference in Singapore

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to receive a grant from the International Federation of Library Association (IFLA) to attend their annual conference, the World Library and Information Congress (WLIC). This year, the conference took place in the lovely island nation of Singapore, in southeast Asia. As part of my application for funding, I had to detail my reasons for attending, and chief among those was to gain insight as to how the international library scene was defining and discussing diversity.

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Empowerment Through Information: Librarianship for At-Risk & Incarcerated Youth

Serving the at-risk population is an important part of our jobs that often gets overlooked in conversation, so we have a lot to learn from our team of expert panelists. Please attend this event and hear some fascinating points of view of people who work regularly with the at-risk or incarcerated youth population.

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