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Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre has started a library with help from HPL

The Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre – otherwise known as Barton Street Jail – has started its own library with over 4,500 new paperback books for inmates to access and enjoy.

This comes in partnership with the Hamilton Public Library (HPL), which has been helping the jail set up the library of donated literature with a mixture of fiction and non-fiction titles on hand.

The Canadian Federation of Libraries Association has said that prison libraries are an effective way of improving the lives of inmates within correctional institutions through information-sharing opportunities.

“These books about history, health, philosophy, poetry, politics and science, will enhance educational opportunities and increase literacy for inmates,” said Sheri Murphy, Volunteer Coordinator at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre.

The large collection of books was curated by Whitehots – a Canadian library wholesaler that is also the Hamilton Public Library’s main print vendor – and was donated to the prison as part of the HPL’s ongoing commitment to supporting non-profit organizations and social services.

“The Freedom to Discover is at the core of our work at HPL,” said Lisa Radha Weaver, Director of Collections and Program Development at the HPL. “We hope readers connect with a favourite author and use the collection to inspire and ignite new ideas.”

Read the release here.

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