Providing an overview of prison libraries is a challenging prospect as they vary considerably from place to place and always reflect a unique history made up of individuals, particular circumstances, and missed opportunities. The Bordeaux-Gradignan prison library is no exception. It is the result of the successive endeavours of individuals and organisations determined to make a difference, however challenging the context. One such is the Gironde département, which has worked with the prison library for over ten years. Focusing on how the collaboration started sheds light on how far the library has come and how far it has yet to go.