11,000 Donated Books Find Their Way Into Correctional Libraries
Eleven thousand books donated by loved ones of the late Gerry Solomon and by the Parole Rotary have been delivered to the more than twenty correctional libraries across Maryland operated by the DPSCS and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.
Thanks to Maryland Correctional Enterprises, the books were shrink-wrapped, placed on pallets (more than a dozen “skids”), and prepared for transport from MCE’s Jessup warehouse. Librarians from nearby Jessup facilities came and got their books, and the other facilities had them delivered. All of the librarians were so grateful for the beautiful books, especially in a time when budgets are frozen and books are very hard to come by.
During a ceremony in February, DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard and DLLR Secretary Ray Sanchez thanked Judy Richter, Mr. Solomon’s former wife, Barbara Pasternak, Mr. Solomon’s sister, and representatives from the Rotary. The donors were given special plaques for their generosity.
DPSCS was contacted by the Rotary shortly after Secretary Maynard spoke to the group late last year. Their tremendous donation amounted to seven hundred books. And when Mr. Solomon died, his former wife thought there was no better place to send his amazing collection of approximately ten thousand books than to prison libraries. That donation was consummated in December, when MCE employees came to Mr. Solomon’s home on their day off and filled a twenty-foot truck with his collection.
At the ceremony in February, Glennor Shirley, who is in charge of correctional libraries, summed it all up: “For many inmates, the very first time they set foot in a library is in prison. Once they arrive, for some, their eyes are opened to the wonderful world of reading and education, and that may make a difference in their eventual transition and success when they get out.”
DPSCS salutes the Rotary and Mrs. Richter and family for their wonderful generosity.