The Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre has a new library thanks to a donation of 4,500 paperback books and with the help of the Hamilton Public Library (HPL).
In a press release issued last week, HPL explained that the new collection of books, which are a mix of fiction and non-fiction titles, will start filling the shelves at the newly established library at the Barton Street facility over the next month.
““These books about history, health, philosophy, poetry, politics and science, will enhance educational opportunities and increase literacy for inmates,” said Sheri Murphy, a volunteer co-ordinator at the detention centre in the release.
She also noted that the donation is especially welcome given that the jail is unable to accept donated books from the public.
According to the Canadian Federation of Library Associations, correctional institutions are made better by the programs and information-sharing opportunities provided by prison libraries.
“The provision of robust library services to inmates not only helps maintain basic rights, but also allows members of this population to explore their fullest potential,” the advocacy group maintains.
HPL’s main print vendor, Whitehots, a Canadian library wholesaler, was reportedly instrumental in curating the new collection.
“Whitehots is proud to support HPL in its mission to ensure collections are inclusive and accessible to everyone in Hamilton,” said Whitehots president, Edmund Salt, in the press release.
“The Freedom to Discover is at the core of our work at HPL,” said Lisa Radha Weaver, HPL’s Director, Collections and Program Development, in the release.
“We hope readers connect with a favourite author and use the collection to inspire and ignite new ideas.”