Books beyond bars: The transformative potential of prison libraries

KROLAK, Lisa and PESCHERS, Gerhard (2019) Books beyond bars: The transformative potential of prison libraries. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session 113c - IFLA Poster Session.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Books beyond bars: The transformative potential of prison libraries

The poster presents the first UNESCO publication on prison libraries today, highlighting their contribution to the personal development and education of incarcerated adults and young people. The publication examines the critical role prison libraries play in supporting the mandate of prison authorities around the world to rehabilitate and reintegrate inmates into society. Providing inmates with access to reading materials and information is particularly important as the majority of those who find themselves in detention facilities come from challenging socio-economic backgrounds and have limited education and low literacy skills. By offering a variety of reading and learning materials, from easy to expert levels, in various languages, prison libraries provide lifelong learning opportunities, thereby improving inmates’ chances of successful reintegration on release. Using a prison library can be a transformative and powerful experience with far-reaching and lasting effects. Books beyond bars highlights examples from selected prison library systems from around the world, demonstrating challenges and best practice, and thus revealing their potential as sources of information, education, culture and recreation.

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