The Barbados Prison Service have two libraries, one housed in the Female Prison, the other in the Education Department of the Male Prison. It’s imperative to note that the librarian of the prison works on a voluntary basis.
The purpose of the libraries is to provide recreational, educational, religious and inspirational reading material to every inmate. The books are classified under the Dewey Decimal System, accessioned and added to a computer database in each of the libraries.
All books are donated to the libraries from various areas of society including the British and American Women’s Clubs, the American Embassy, Virgin Atlantic at Grantley Adams International Airport. There are other philanthropic donors to the libraries within the prison. Recognition is given to The Peter Moores Barbados Trust who provides funds for the purchase of educational books to aid in the rehabilitation of inmates.
Fictional books are the most popular read books in the libraries. Inmates within the prison system are also very interested in educating themselves as part of their rehabilitation. There is a special request system in place, where an inmate can request a book on a particular subject to study.
The libraries also provide supporting material for all educational and vocational courses held through the Education Department. Educational documentary DVD’s are loaned to the Housing Units through the Library Service. Law books are also loaned to remand inmates to help them understand the court and judicial systems.
Inmates are trained using the Library Skills Course which allows them to become Library Assistants. Lectures are held on the Housing Units to help inmates understand the Library System and teach them how to appreciate the novels they are reading. All inmates have to adhere to Library Rules by taking care of the books they borrow and ensuring that they are returned at their due date.