Jail receives book donation

By Heidi Warren | May 11, 2014

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office recently received about 200 brand-new paperback books donated to the jail library for inmates to read, courtesy of the Haywood County Public Library.

The stacks of titles run the gamut from science fiction to westerns and just about everything in between. Each book was carefully chosen for content by Haywood County Librarian Kim Garmon.

The donation included several copies of GED preparation studies and many self-help titles. There were also novels from best-selling authors like Nora Roberts, J.R.R. Tolkien, Nicholas Sparks, Suzanne Collins, George R.R. Martin and W.E.B. Griffin.

On each book’s cover, library staff members affixed a sticker displaying the quote: “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. – Richard Steele”

Sheriff Greg Christopher called the gift “a blessing,” saying, “These books will not only provide the inmates with a source of knowledge and entertainment, but will also offer an opportunity to further their education if they wish.”

Library Director Sharon Woodrow said she was prompted to order the books after touring the facility several months ago, where she saw first-hand what poor condition the existing books at the jail library were in and how few titles were available.

“I believe books change lives, and if the books help even one inmate, then we have fulfilled the library’s true purpose.” Woodrow said. “Hopefully that inmate will break the cycle of recidivism, and in turn help other people.”