Efforts Underway to Improve Inmate Library Services

FALMOUTH – The Falmouth Public Library and the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office are partnering to improve and reorganize library services for inmates at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility.

Acting Falmouth Library Director Brian Stokes, who joined a year ago, brings extensive experience from his time with the New York Public Library, where he created and taught a curriculum on American Literature Post-9/11 at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center and acted as the correctional services assistant on Rikers Island during his ten-year tenure.

As Stokes and library staff reorganize the library and procure books by individual request using donations from Friends of the Falmouth Public Library, the Programs Department prepares to host two new courses in which Stokes will resume his American Lit course alongside a course teaching incarcerated parents the joy and benefits of reading to their children taught by the children’s librarian.

Members of the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office stressed the importance of reading for incarcerated individuals, who read an average of one book per week.

“This partnership is a gift to the men and women in our facility,” said Barnstable County Sheriff Donna D. Buckley. “Books have the power to transport us to a different time and place, while also teaching us about ourselves and our world.”

“I am grateful that Brian Stokes and the Falmouth Public Library are helping us enrich the lives of the incarcerated individuals in our care,” she said.

The Library, which has operated in the facility for decades, is currently hiring personnel to fill important roles as they move forward with scheduled improvements.

About Matthew Tomlinson

Matt Tomlinson is a Cape Cod native studying to be a documentarian. He has been with the CapeCod.com NewsCenter since 2021.

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