There was a library at Port Arthur for convict use!
What's more it contained 13,253 volumes (no doubt of an "improving" nature). The library was tucked into a corner of the mess room in the Penitentiary where it also served as a reading room for officers.
Books were circulated to outstations, detached posts, invalids, inmates and lunatics. Convicts were given the chance to learn how to read onboard ship on the way to Australia.