SAN ANGELO, Texas — Since 2019, the Stephens Central Library has held an informational outreach with the Tom Green County Jail (now the TGC Detention Center). The library delivers books donated to the Friends of the Tom Green County Library to the jail’s inmates.
“The jail outreach started two years ago as just another service to our community. The incarcerated population is part of our community, they are just in a different circumstance than we are right now and we still provide them as much resource and outreach as possible,” Amy Dennis, Stephens Central Library Programming & Public Relations Director, said.
The library delivers books once a month to the detention center. The books come from donations from the Friends of the Library.
Dennis says donated books are sorted out into various projects. Besides the donations going to the inmates, the Friends of the Library work together to sort out donations for service members overseas, book sales, shelters and collections on the shelves.
“Reading is so fundamentally beneficial for everybody, then that includes the people out of jail and that's what you want. You want a critical thinking society whether they are incarcerated or not, people that can think on their own and when they get out of that prison go out and be better informed about which steps to take next,” Dennis said.
The library is in need of paperbacks of all types, science fiction and young adult series. Book donations are still accepted at the library's loading dock, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday at 33 W. Beauregard Ave.
For the full donation policy, visit tgclibrary.com.