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 on-demand webinar teaches 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. Be walked through how to consider buy-in in your library, as well as how to approach services and craft a welcoming environment through an equity lens.

Originally presented March 30, 2023.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand 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 on-demand 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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This on-demand webinar is closed captioned in English (United States).

If you have a physical or communication need that may affect your access to this on-demand webinar, please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752) prior to registering so we can attempt to provide appropriate accommodations.

Tech Requirements

To play this on-demand webinar you should use a browser with native HTML5 support. Please use the most up-to-date version available of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Edge. A fast Internet connection and computer is recommended.


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

If you have questions or problems accessing a recording, send a message to or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).

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