Learning for Life

Opening up a world of learning to help young offenders develop the life skills they need on release from prison.

Name of project: Visible Library


A collaboration between Lesia Ukrainka Public Library in Kyiv and young offenders, the challenge involves testing and developing the support offered to prisoners and people on probation in Kyiv and across Ukraine to help them develop the life skills they need to help prepare them for life after prison.

The initiative

By organising meetings and sociocultural events, as well as training sessions and masterclasses, the challenge team is helping to overcome digital divides and improve levels of information literacy for people who’ve spent time behind bars – as well as supporting staff at the probation centre. 

While some of the meetings take place online via Zoom, probationers can also visit the public library in person and, while there, they are introduced to the work of different library departments and services. 

Lesia Ukrainka Public Library offers the only free services available to everyone at a local level in Kyiv to help close gaps in education and knowledge, to teach online skills and to offer support with job searches and employment. The Visible Library initiative has reached more than 1,200 people so far, both online and offline.

What’s next?

Lesia Ukrainka Public Library is the first public library in Ukraine to work with prisoners, and challenge team members are keen to share their experiences with other libraries in Ukraine and beyond.

They are preparing to publish a 107-page collection of poems written by prisoners to showcase their successful initiative. 

Challenge team members said: “Visible Library is another confirmation of the important role of the library in the life of every person, no matter what the circumstances are.”

Relevant links

http://surl.li/fvktw (recordings of Zoom meetings with prisoners)



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