epl2you - Edmonton Institute for Women

The Edmonton Institution for Women Book Borrowing service at EPL responds to the needs of people who are unable to visit the library due to incarceration. Volunteers are the link between the library and these incarcerated women.

Program Purpose

  • To provide access to library resources and materials to women incarcerated at the Edmonton Institution for Women.
  • To promote lifelong learning, inclusion, accessibility and a connection to the community.
  • To increase awareness and use of library resources, services and programs.

Volunteer Responsibilities

  • In collaboration with another volunteer, pick up, deliver and return library material to women in the general and/or minimum units.
  • Volunteers interact with an assigned inmate at the prison to sort, deliver and take material requests.
  • Communicate with staff on any updates to inmate needs.
  • Respect confidentiality.

Volunteer Skills & Qualifications


  • Ability to carry materials up to 30 lbs.
  • Must be 18+ years of age.
  • Must be positive, patient and interested in working with marginalized persons.
  • Must be able to complete background checks & training required by Corrections Canada
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills in English.
  • Must be able to pick up and return library material from either Lois Hole or Jasper Place branch.


  • Past experience working with marginalized persons is an asset.
  • Availability on the delivery shift (3rd Wednesday of the month, 6 to 8 p.m.).
  • Access to a vehicle (mileage is not compensated).

Volunteer Commitment

Length of Commitment

Commit to participate in the program for a minimum of two years.
On-going (no end date).

Time Commitment

Once every month on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m.

Orientation & Training

Orientation and training to this role is done in conjunction with Corrections Canada and can take longer to complete than most other volunteer roles.

Once accepted as a volunteer in this program, volunteers will be required to complete an orientation at the prison, complete an Information Check and fingerprinting session prior to commencing their volunteer work.

Volunteer Benefits

Making a difference in the quality of life for persons that are incarcerated. Access to library material is a connection to culture, current affairs and other information that inmates would not normally have. It is a valued service by inmates.

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