HAMILTON, ON – May 13, 2021 – Hamilton Public Library is helping set up a library at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre with a donation of more than 4,500 new paperback books.
The books, which are a mix of fiction and non-fiction titles, will begin filling the shelves at the newly established library over the next month.
Sheri Murphy, Volunteer Coordinator, at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre is grateful for the start-up collection — especially because the jail is unable to accept donated books from the public. “These books about history, health, philosophy, poetry, politics and science, will enhance educational opportunities and increase literacy for inmates,” said Murphy.
According to the Canadian Federation of Library Associations, correctional institutions are made better by the programs and information-sharing opportunities provided by prison libraries. In a position adopted by the national advocacy group in 2016, “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.”
Canadian library wholesaler Whitehots, which is HPL’s main print vendor, was instrumental in curating the collection. “Whitehots is proud to support HPL in its mission to ensure collections are inclusive and accessible to everyone in Hamilton,” said President Edmund Salt.
This donation is also in keeping with HPL’s mandate to support non-profit organizations and social service agencies. “The Freedom to Discover is at the core of our work at HPL,” said Lisa Radha Weaver, HPL’s Director, Collections and Program Development. “We hope readers connect with a favourite author and use the collection to inspire and ignite new ideas.”