“This is a compelling, realistic look at life in a typical juvenile detention facility. Ms. Zeman doesn’t employ the cliches found so often in prison tales; she skillfully captures the sights, sensations and rhythms of jail life that have become part of her life.”

“This book is a ‘must read’ for everyone in the law enforcement community who deals with felony juvenile offenders.”

John Gallagher
Commissioner (ret.)
Suffolk County Police Department

FBI National Executive Institute 

“An insightful and captivating read about the world of incarcerated youth that stays with you even after turning the last page. A must-read!”

Donna Rosenblum
High School Librarian,
Long Island School Media Association

“This little treasure of a book tells big stories of young men trapped, seeking and sometimes finding a way out or at least another way to look, through books.”

Michaela Angela Davis
Commenator/Writer/Image Activist

“I recommend this loving work to all teachers, chaplains, correction officers, family and friends of the incarcerated and to anyone who wishes to open themselves and to expand their hearts and minds to human nature and, in particular, the incarcerated.”

Sister Dolores Castellano, CIJ
Nassau County Correctional Center

“Marybeth’s book offers a glimpse into the grim and often frightening world of young inmates while illustrating how books provide much-needed escape from this harsh reality.With language that gently swings between poetry and investigative journalism, Marybeth places a sweet burden upon the shoulders of our local libraries.In order to make a successful reentry into society, ex-offenders need resources that will help them overcome destructive habits and acquire the skills needed to become employable. We all need a Mrs. Z in our lives to bring something fresh and new into our stale, everyday existence. My hope is that this book will urge our Department of Corrections to keep prison libraries filled with books that educate and motivate inmates so that fewer and fewer of them become habitual offenders.”

Lisa M Leonard
Editor-in-Chief at Gideon’s Army Jail & Prison Ministries
Fremont, Nebraska

“This work not only inspires, it educates us about the juvenile justice system and reminds us that books and learning can bring light into darkness.”

Jerry Nichols
Palmer Institute for Public Library Organization and Management,
Long Island University, Greenvale, New York

“‘Tales of a Jailhouse Librarian’ is a transformative book. It educates, awakens, inspires. It causes readers to rethink what they always thought was true about this nation’s incarcerated young people.”

Sheila Rule
Former Managing Editor
The New York Times
Think Outside the Cell Foundation

“Ms. Zeman’s firsthand account of her riveting interactions with incarcerated youth is a must-read for libary professionals looking for ways to better connect with and serve their communities. Her insightful recollections reach at the core of what the services libraries provide can mean for the members of society that need it the most.”

Mary Robinson
Community Services Librarian
Freeport Memorial Library

“‘Tales’ really touched me and offered an amazing sense of awareness. Truly a book for police or gang members, rich or poor, pastors or sinners…”

Robert Flaherty
Retired FBI Agent 


School Library Journal
Interview: “Tales of a Jailhouse Librarian” Author, Marybeth Zeman
Interview by Alicia Eames
May 2014
Link to interview

Uncommon Journalism
Interview by James Swift
A Jailhouse Librarian’s Journey
May 2014
Link to interview

Garden City News, Garden City, New York
June 13, 2014
Garden City Native’s Crusade as Prison Librarian
Interview by Rikki Massand
Link to interview

We.News: Covering Women’s Issues – Changing Women’s Lives
Two Women Share Their Stories for Grief About Teens Branded as Felons
By Marybeth Zeman, we.enews guest author
May 25,2014
Link to interview