Review: Running the Books

Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg

4 out of 5 stars

This book caught my eye because I have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and am a librarian.  In past years, I had considered prison librarianship as a possible career option for myself, but after I began working in the public library system I realized that was the place for me.  Regardless, prison librarianship is still interesting to me — and Avi sure did run into some characters (inmates and prison employees both) during his two years working in a Boston prison.  His writing brings the characters to life — and they are indeed sometimes LARGER than life!  Avi’s narrative about working in prison is interjected with reminiscence about his grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, and his time in religious school.  With insight into all aspects of prison life, he handles his tale with honesty but also with tenderness and a real hope for the goodness of human beings. 

– Marleah Augustine


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