Heather Pelham, Public Services Librarian, Georgetown County Library System, SC, has been selected for the 2019 ASGCLA Exceptional Service Award. She was chosen for her advocacy and work re-establishing a library for the general population at the Georgetown County, South Carolina Detention Center.
Heather serves as the program manager for The Amazing Journey grant, which reestablished a library at the Georgetown County Detention Center, serving the 212 inmates incarcerated there with new fiction, nonfiction and educational, and self-help books. The project also provided laptops and training materials for 49 detention center officers. The training included 32 life skills and job search classes for inmates participating in the Sheriff’s Reentry Program (RES). The RES program was provided with books, laptops, smart TVs and special software to aid in journeyman certification classes. When the inmates leave the RES program at the end of their incarceration, they have coveted certification in their skill area, and are often hired while still serving time. Over 300 inmates have graduated, and the program has a 0% recidivism rate.
Heather Pelham will be honored at the ASGCLA Achievement Awards Ceremony on Saturday, June 22, 2019 from 8:30-10:00am at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington DC. All conference attendees are invited to attend the event. See additional information and a scheduler for the 2019 ALA Annual Conference, https://2019.alaannual.org/