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Title:Recent Trends in UK Prison Libraries
Author(s):Bowe, Carole
Subject(s):Library and Information Services to Incarcerated Persons: Global Perspectives
Prison libraries -- Great Britain.
Abstract:The purpose of this article is to explore and explain the significant developments and trends in prison libraries over the last thirty years. The article includes sections on legislation affecting prison libraries, staffing arrangements, roles and responsibilities of HMP (Her Majesty's Prison) Service, and UK Local Authorities. The work of the Prison Libraries Group (PrLG) of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) is examined in detail, as are the management of prison libraries and the methods of inspections and audits. The article examines the challenges of trying to engage an often disaffected population with diverse needs. Training requirements and opportunities for prison staff are investigated, as this is a crucial element in prison library work. The article concludes that the prison library is at the heart of the prisoners' learning journey by assisting in functional and emotional literacy. Not only can the prison library help to bridge the digital divide and increase prisoners ICT skills, it also can instill a love of books and reading through exciting reader development projects. The author hopes that funding for prison libraries continues at its present level in order to maintain an excellent service to prisoners and to ensure that providers are able to deliver an affordable service within a reasonable timeframe. The article will be of interest to prison library staff, local authority staff with responsibility for library services to prison facilities, and library and information science students.
Issue Date:2011
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:In Library Trends 59 (3) Winter 2011: 427-445.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-03-18

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