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Creative Mornings | Creating Prison Libraries: Sanctuary for Whom?

January 27, 2023 at8:15 am - 10:00 am


January’s theme is Sanctuary. You can stop running now, you are safe here. A sanctuary offers protection to those who are vulnerable: those who are fleeing violence, those who have been cast off and told there is no place for them there, even animals whose habitats have disappeared. Here is a place where you can finally lay your head down and rest. Where is it that you find refuge? What happens to your body when you cross its threshold? And most importantly, how can you hold the door open for others?

Many of us have experienced the beautiful sanctuaries that libraries create. Combine that with one of the places least likely to be called a sanctuary – a prison – and you will discover the creative power of prison libraries.

Kirsten Wurmann is the founder and chair of the Manitoba Library Association – Prison Libraries Committee (PLC). Formed in 2012, the PLC brings books and library services and programming to six provincial carceral institutions in Manitoba, where previously there were no libraries. Kirsten has created unique spaces of sanctuary, and we’re excited to hear her talk next month!

Kirsten will speak about the realities of working with and inside these institutions with stories of successes and challenges. The PLC believes that access to books, to literacy, and to information is a right for all, including our incarcerated community members. And while that is their goal, what they have come to realize is that one of the most important things we can do is to create a moment, to facilitate a space where humanity and perhaps even hope can exist.

Kirsten Wurmann is a librarian, an art lover, a walker, and a former hostel owner. She is passionate about social justice and creating access to information for all. To that end, she has volunteered inside carceral institutions for 15 years.


January 27, 2023
8:15 am - 10:00 am
Event Category:


Launch Co-Working Space
167 Lombard Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0V3 Canada
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