One of the lesser-known libraries in Essex is at HMP/YOI Chelmsford where Essex Library Services staff provide a comprehensive library staff to prisoners. As well as the usual source of books, information and learning, the library plays an important part in keeping families together. It’s for one of these activities, Family Library Time, that the library has received national recognition by winning the Excellence in Prison Libraries Award. The award is given annually by the Prison Libraries Group, part of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).
During the school holidays, a special Rhymetime is held in the prison library so that families can spend time together, sharing stories, rhymes, books and crafts in an intimate and familiar setting. In such a challenging and hidden environment, it’s wonderful that library staff have received this recognition for their commitment and dedication to their customers.