The Carbondale 3R's Project is an outstanding example of advocacy for incarcerated youth and adults through volunteerism, book recycling efforts, and community networking and collaboration. Since the summer of 2015, the Carbondale 3R's Project has grown considerably in the number of community groups contributing time and donations, public libraries offering leftover books, correctional facilities served, and books and magazines distributed at no charge.
Volunteers from the Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois, the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship's Social Action Committee, First Christian Church of Carbondale, Southern Illinois Quaker Meeting, Church Women United, Bookworm, the Friends of the Carbondale Public Library, the Murphysboro Senior Citizen's Center Resale Shop, and Friends of Sallie Logan Library in Murphysboro all helped in some way by donating, choosing, packing, and/or loading books to be given to local prison libraries in 2016.
In addition to the public libraries in Carbondale and Murphysboro, the Sparta Public Library plans to join in the effort by providing their book sale remainders to prison libraries.
Seven correctional facilities' staff visited the Carbondale Public Library, the Sallie Logan Library in Murphysboro and/or the Carbondale First Christian Church 3R's book room to choose free reading materials for their libraries: The Illinois Youth Center-Harrisburg, Vienna Correctional Center, Big Muddy River Correctional Center, Menard Correctional Center, Pinckneyville Correctional Center, and Illinois Youth Center-Pere Marquette. Of note is that one facility now has its first staff librarian in over 15 years.
Over the past year, the Carbondale 3R's program donated a total of one hundred and three (103) boxes of books and fourteen (14) boxes of magazines to the above correctional facilities.
Volunteers are always welcome to help on the day correctional center staff visit the local libraries. If you wish to donate books to the 3R's project, please donate the books to the Carbondale or Murphysboro Public Libraries. Correctional center staff are able to choose desired books after the libraries' book sales from the remaining stock. Books and magazines are also chosen from the 3R's book room at First Christian Church in Carbondale. Donations of very sturdy bookcases for the 3R's book room and very recent magazines would be appreciated. Contact: Maurine Pyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.