This isn't a typical Library Assistant role. And this isn't a typical library. Isis Prison sits within the wall line of the high security Belmarsh prison and is predominately a Category C male Young Offenders Institution that houses around 600 male offenders. HMP & YOI Isis does not serve any local courts, and takes receptions from other prisons 2 days a week. The library has around 350 members and holds around 6,000 books. Approximately 1000 inmates use the library each month. It's an essential resource for the offenders who are expected to visit for at least 30 minutes each week.
Prisoners use our library for a number of reasons. We have a vast selection of legal books and papers that our prisoners use to help them understand their sentences as well as the standard books that you'd find in a public library. We have a heavy focus on education as many of the inmates have literacy problems or just want to learn something new such as a second language, but whatever the reason, the books are a welcome diversion from prison life. As a Library Assistant, you will have to do the usual tasks associated with the role, such as providing an information service to our users, ordering books and arranging author days, but due to the unique location of the library, there is far more to this role than expected. As we place an emphasis on education, we're inspected and regulated by Ofsted, so there will be a lot of report writing and administration involved to help us to review and maintain our standards.
Although challenging, this is a highly-rewarding role where you'll get to see the inmates change and grow from the services and support that you'd provide alongside other departments such as Healthcare and Resettlement. This isn't a role for the timid, as you'll need to maintain control and gravitas at all times as well as being vigilant. A can-do attitude is a must, as is common sense, as you'll do everything from assessing the suitability of the books that the prisoners request, to ensuring that all doors are locked behind you whenever you move about the building as well as some heavy lifting. You'll ideally be CILIP qualified (although relevant experience would be just as valuable), with a mature demeanour and passion for helping others.
In return, we offer a range of benefits that you'd expect from the UK's largest leisure provider:
- Pension schemes
- Ride to work scheme
- Discounted membership at our leisure centres
- The opportunity to join the GLL Society and have a say in how we're run plus associated social events
- Career pathways
- Ongoing training and development to help you to be the best
We'll offer all the training and support that you'll need to thrive in this demanding yet fulfilling environment. If this sounds like you, apply now.
All pay rates are subject to skills, experience, qualifications and location.
To be shortlisted for the role, internal applicants will need to demonstrate their commitment to GLL by becoming a Society member where eligible.
Better Libraries are run by GLL, the UK’s largest libraries and leisure and cultural services provider and one of the first and largest leisure social enterprises. We are passionate about providing excellent public services and ensuring that they are well used. We partner with local authorities to run libraries, leisure centres, swimming pools, children’s centres, spas, events spaces and world-class sporting venues such as the Copper Box Arena and London Aquatics Centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - all under our Better brand. As a not-for-profit organisation, we’re different. Passionate about seeing our communities thrive, we invest back into our facilities, projects and people and are an Investors in People Silver Award employer.
GLL is an equal opportunities employer.