US children & parents in prison

A good story on the BBC about kids whose parents are in prison.

For those of you into quantifiable data, the BBC article also refers to this report on the “collateral costs” of increasing incarceration levels in the U.S.


Cultivating Connections — GELA submission?

Hi all — maybe something committee interested in submitting to (book club?) or attending?
Call for Abstracts Now Open!

Cultivating Connections: 2010 National Family Literacy Conference is an opportunity for national and international family literacy experts and practitioners to come together and share knowledge, resources, perspectives and experiences.

You are invited to submit an abstract for the conference to be held at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton Alberta, Canada, from July 15 – 17, 2010.

The complete Call for Abstracts, with information on conference streams, is now available on the conference website:

This conference will be of interest to all those who work with families and are interested in fostering family literacy. Delegates will include those from Alberta and across Canada, but also from the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries.

Important Dates:
• Deadline for submissions: November 30, 2009
• Notification date of accepted abstract: January 15, 2010
• Acceptance date for presenters: January 31, 2010

Cultivating Connections Conference,
July 15 – 17, 2010
Plan to attend this exciting gathering, which will also include three days of pre-conference training from July 12 – 14.

Conference keynote speakers include Peter Hannon, Elsa Auerbach, Snoeks Desmond, Eve Gregory and Thomas Sticht. Join with Canadian and international family literacy experts and practitioners to share information and explore opportunities for the growth of family literacy.

For more information, please contact

YA Lit: 70s/80s?

Hey there — a SLIS professor has asked if we are interested in several cartons of 1970s, 1980s, and a few 1990s YA books. She says they aren’t gorgeous to look at, but they are excellent stories. If we accepted these, we could take them and divvy up between women’s / men’s prisons. Maybe some for Bissell? What are your thoughts?

Peter Kingstone screening: 100 Stories About My Grandmother

GELA’s Women’s Prison Committee is offering a screening of Peter Kingstone’s film “100 Stories About My Grandmother” Please plan to join us at SLIS Room 3-22 at 4:30 PM on Tuesday March 3, 2009.

Artist’s Statement (

100 Stories About My Grandmother will use the narratives of male prostitutes to construct a picture of my grandmother, and will thereby deconstruct notions of family and the lives of sex workers.

Society tends to see sex workers as destitute, drug addicted, amoral, disease infected, and lower class.  Their real voices are seldom heard. They are most likely to come to our attention when they enter the court system, or if well meaning community or church groups attempt to save
them from the perceived perils of sex work.  100 Stories About My Grandmother allows the talked-about to talk; gives a voice to those who have been voiceless.  In turn, their narratives are used to build my grandmother’s story.

Having sex workers speak for themselves but not about their work is a step towards understanding prostitutes as individuals.  Sharing family stories may seem banal, but inviting sex workers to do so becomes a way of including them in a society all too frequently eager to reject them. Sharing stories like these would usually happen only among family and friends.  Sharing them with an audience encourages the listener to feel a kinship with a marginalized community – we all have grandmothers.

I know very little about my grandmother; in fact I have no lived experience with her.  These 100 stories will be threads in the narrative cloth I weave about my grandmother’s life. Audience memories of their own grandmothers will contribute to this weaving – the “My” of the title
will refer not only to each individual narrative, nor to my grandmother, but will refer to the former and the latter plus the audience’s experiences with their own grandmothers.

The presentation will be followed by a group discussion of the work and the artist’s future projects.

Everyone is Welcome!