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The Biblio File: Library News

The Biblio File
April 5, 2021

For the last year we discontinued our automatic email reminders about upcoming due dates, but they have been reinstated to help keep our shelves up to date.  Unfortunately many books and DVDs have not been returned.  The automatic email is our first step but we will be starting to email and call about missing items in the near future – help us out by beating us to it!  It’s a time consuming and unrewarding task trying to chase these down.  If you think you may have some books or movies at home please feel free to contact us for a list of what’s outstanding and return them as soon as possible. If you cannot find a missing book please let us know and we will look into replacing it.  We really appreciate it.  Book 2500 days overdue!?  We don’t care as long as you bring it back.

Librarian book review!  Well I have to admit that I judged a book by its cover (occupational hazard)… and wasn’t disappointed.  I rarely read non-fiction but The Prison Book Club by Ann Walmsley caught my eye because of its title – I have never been part of a book club but the idea has always intrigued me.

When the author’s friend asked her to participate in a bold new venture – starting a book club in a men’s medium security prison in Ontario – she was anxious and scared.

Her curiosity and desire to help won out and for eighteen months she went to a remote building a few hours outside of Toronto, meeting a group of book club members without the presence of guards or security cameras. For the men, the books were rare prized possessions. Having been judged themselves, they were quick to make judgements about the books they read.  As they discussed the obstacles the characters faced, they revealed glimpses of their own struggles that were both devastating and comic.

It was so interesting to me, to see what the books meant to the inmates and the depth to which the books made them think and assess.  I found myself jotting down a list of the books they read to take out myself.

The Prison Book club follows six of the members who kept journals and participated in one-on-one meetings with the author.  This is definitely a good read for someone who loves books and believes in their power to bring out new sides of people.