The Vermont Department of Libraries, in collaboration with the Department of Corrections, has provided over $42,000 in books to the six state correctional facilities. The books will refresh the facilities’ library collections available to incarcerated individuals. The funding was part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant provided to the Vermont Department of Libraries by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
The IMLS ARPA funding is meant to help libraries update collections, spaces, and equipment for safe operations and expand programming possibilities, with the overall goal of improving and increasing services to end-users. The Department of Libraries is responsible for distributing the funds to libraries across Vermont to meet these goals.
The Department of Libraries believes that “every citizen of the state of Vermont should have access to the educational, cultural, recreational, informational, and research benefits of libraries.” This effort aims to support the libraries in the correctional facilities around the state as they work to provide that access to incarcerated Vermonters.
“Access to reading materials is vitally important to individuals who are incarcerated in Vermont, as books both support academic coursework and provide cultural enrichment. The ARPA funds available to us through IMLS enabled the Department of Libraries to work with colleagues at the Department of Corrections in bolstering collections at all six correctional facilities in our state,” said State Librarian Catherine Delneo. “The books were selected to meet the individuals’ recreational and informational needs, while considering a wide range of reading levels.”
“Reading may be the single greatest skill of humankind. It enables us to know where we’ve been, understand where we are, and dream of where we might go,” said Department of Corrections Commissioner Nicholas Deml. “These new resources from the Department of Libraries will benefit those in our care and custody, whether they are looking to learn new things, to build skills that will support them when they’re released, or to get lost in another world for a while. We are so appreciative of this effort and our partners at the Department of Libraries.”