Damaged library books are getting their fix behind bars, thanks to inmates at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Boyds.
Through a workforce re-entry project, inmates trained by Montgomery County Public Library staff are repairing damaged books so that they can be returned to circulation. Inmates selected to participate in the program can earn “good time credit” toward reducing their sentence while acquiring new work skills, county officials said.
Warden Rob Green said he came up with the idea last year. The county correctional facility funded the $3,300 in material costs for the start-up supplies. County officials said there were no there were no other expenses related to the book-repair program.
According to library staff, the repairs take from six to 10 days per box of books.
A batch of 42 busted books arrived from Wheaton and Praisner branches in late April. The most common problems encountered in book repairs are: broken or detached spines; pencil marks on pages; and ripped, loose or torn pages.
Parker Hamilton, Montgomery County Public Library director, said the inmate book-repair program saves the county money.
“The real value is the fact that the books are now back on the shelves and are being checked out again,” Hamilton said.