Getting Started with Services to Decarcerated Patrons


Flock of Birds Flying Over a Broken Fence

Learn how to start serving formerly incarcerated patrons from the staff of Tacoma Public Library in Washington. This webinar will teach how to research incarcerated populations in the library’s area, put together a values-based project team, host job fairs, and develop library card and community resource partnerships, such as free legal help for expungement. Every community is unique and faces unique challenges. Participants will be walked through how to consider buy-in in their library, as well as how to approach services and craft a welcoming environment through an equity lens.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Find local demographic information about incarcerated or formerly incarcerated patrons in their area;
  • Structure project teams to advance service through an equity lens for formerly incarcerated patrons;
  • Consider equity impacts for formerly incarcerated patrons, such as creating a welcoming environment system wide through training, and understanding economic and social impacts of incarceration;
  • Identify one or two low-budget ways to begin serving formerly incarcerated patrons in their neighborhoods; and
  • Seek out possible community partnerships that can benefit formerly incarcerated patrons and may double as support for the wider community.

Who Should Attend

This webinar is intended for all public library staff who want to increase their understanding of the topic.


Gabby FuentesGabby Fuentes (she/ella) is a neighborhood services manager at the Tacoma (WA) Public Library. Her work has focused on outreach and adult services, and her current role includes leading the Race, Equity, and Social Justice committee at the Tacoma Public Library. Before public libraries, Gabby worked in social services, serving human trafficking and domestic violence survivors, a perspective she carries into her library work.


Carlos GaleanaCarlos Galeana (he/him/his/él) is an experienced learning and development professional, technology trainer, video editor, and instructional designer. Carlos is passionate about accessibility, serving Spanish-speakers, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and workplace safety. His work in public libraries has been recognized by Library Journal magazine.


Important Registration Information

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Redeem your signup code to complete your registration

Once you’ve registered for this webinar, a signup code will be added to your ALA eLearning account and emailed to you. Find the signup code on your signup code page, then redeem it on your account’s dashboard to complete your enrollment in this live webinar.

Review the ALA eLearning FAQ if you need more information.


This live webinar will be CART captioned in English (United States).

Attendees using screen readers are advised to turn off speech prior to joining the Zoom event because PLA webinars make extensive use of chat functionality. Attendees who find chat distracting may wish to disable it in the Zoom event, as PLA moderators will verbally highlight important topics raised in chat and chat transcripts will be provided post-webinar.

If you have a physical or communication need that may affect your participation in this webinar, please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752) at least two weeks prior to the webinar. Without prior notification of need, we may not be able to provide appropriate accommodations for the live event.

Archived Recording

If you're unable to attend this live webinar, an archived recording will be available to all registrants typically within 1–3 business of the live event. Access to closed captions will be provided in the webinar recording.

Tech Requirements

This webinar will be presented using the Zoom platform. Please review Zoom technical requirements and support information, and test your connection.

Once you've joined the webinar, there are two ways to connect your audio: via computer (VoIP) or via telephone. No microphone is required. PLA works with its webinar platform provider to assure the highest quality audio is being delivered to attendees. However, variables over which PLA has no control—such as the speed of your Internet connection or traffic on your local network—can affect the end quality of the webinar audio delivered by your computer. Each webinar’s audio is also available by telephone via a toll number, so we recommend you have access to a long-distance enabled phone as a backup in case you experience audio issues with VoIP. If you do encounter any problems during the webinar, you will receive a link to its archived recording within a week of the live event and can review anything you missed.


This webinar is presented by the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

Questions about this webinar? Please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).

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