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Staff - Institutional Library Development

 Renée Barnes  |  Molly Bassford   Erin Boyington  |  Teresa Allen


Renée Barnes - Supervisor, Institutional Library Development

Renée Barnes happened upon the field of correctional librarianship in 2005 while searching for a job.  She began working as a library technician in a correctional facility and hasn’t considered working with any other population since. Since 2005, she has facilitated book groups, created summer and winter reading programs, and taught Spanish and cognitive behavior change classes to residents in addition to providing other library services to residents at three different correctional facilities.  These opportunities to serve and impact those who may not have seen the library as relevant to their lives fueled her desire to pursue a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science and a promotion to librarian.

Renée began working as an Institutional Libraries Senior Consultant in March 2013 and was promoted to Institutional Library Development Supervisor in January 2021.  She wants to leave the world a better place than when she found it and believes her work with institutional libraries allows her to do just that.

Molly Bassford - Institutional Libraries Senior Consultant

Molly Bassford started her career in libraries as an intern at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility after earning her MLIS from Syracuse University. She was quickly promoted to a library technician II position where she provided library services and programming to the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility as well as the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center. She took a brief hiatus from inside the walls to work as an adult librarian at the Central Branch of Denver Public Library where she led outreach efforts to those recently released from jail and prison while also participating in state and national committees to help expand access to resources for under-served populations. Most recently Molly supervised the Denver Complex libraries where she and her team developed numerous innovative programs and transformed customer service inside the Denver correctional libraries. As an institutional libraries senior consultant, Molly will be working with both adult and youth institutional libraries. When not providing library services, Molly loves to garden, snuggle her kitties, and dig into the latest fiction reads.

Erin Boyington - Adult Institutions Senior Consultant

Erin Boyington began working in correctional libraries in 2013 after receiving her MLIS from the University of Washington. She began as a Library Technician II and then Librarian II, providing library services and programming to Sterling Correctional Facility, the largest state prison in Colorado. There she started new adult programs with the help of community partners. Working with Pop Culture Classroom in Denver, she brought their LEAD With Comics curriculum to prison, teaching art and literacy to residents using comic books. She also worked with to provide their inspirational talks by global leaders to the incarcerated. Erin enjoys presenting at workshops and conferences and is an active member-participant of the American Library Association.

Erin loves connecting people to libraries, books, and new ideas. She believes that creating learning opportunities gives people the tools for success - even if they choose not to use them!

Teresa Allen - Youth Institutions Senior Consultant & Acquisitions

Teresa Allen cannot stay away from institutional libraries. She worked as the Youth Institutions and Acquisitions Consultant in 2006-2010. During that time, she improved library collections and services in the Colorado Division of Youth Services, and she started an annual mini-conference for youth institutional library staff. She also participated in the Young Adult Library Services Association’s “Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults” selection committee. In 2010, Teresa moved on to teach high school English classes at the Youthful Offender System in Pueblo and then worked as a librarian in Denver Public Schools. She returned to the Youth Institutions position in 2016. When not consulting, Teresa loves movies, thrift stores, hiking, and, of course, READING. She believes that everyone deserves a 21st century library.


Go to: Institutional Library Development | State Prison Libraries | Correctional Librarianship