Jail Lobby Now Features a Little Library for Kids

Little Library Lobby

For children visiting a family member at the county’s jail (Adult Detention Center), waiting is now a little bit easier. Our Sheriff’s Office has opened a “Little Library” in the lobby with free books for kids of all ages.

Children who take a book to read while they wait can choose to put it back on the shelf or take it home with them. The Little Library structure is secured to a wall and set at a comfortable height for young ones to access. The library is open on Saturdays and Sundays during inmate visiting hours.

“Giving children an opportunity to read and learn in the jail lobby not only distracts them in the short-term from a difficult environment, but also helps steer them on a positive path for the future. My deputies have reported children ‘jumping for joy’ when they see the library and are encouraged to choose their own book to read.”Sheriff Stacey Kincaid

 

Connecting with Books
Little Library Ribbon Cutting

2nd Lieutenant Emily Fary cuts the ribbon to open the Little Library

Before the Little Library was launched, the jail had 866 books donated by community groups. On the first day the Little Library opened, the shelves were stocked with 106 books, and they will be restocked on a weekly basis.

“The Sheriff’s Office is committed to connecting to the community we serve, and it has been incredibly rewarding to do so one book at a time,” says 2nd Lieutenant Emily Fary, the Sheriff’s special projects coordinator who designed the library and oversees the collection of books.

Because of the continued outpouring of support, the Sheriff’s Office shares many of the donated books with its community partners, including Shelter House and the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program for at-risk youth.

“Sharing and reading books together is one way we can bridge the gap between law enforcement and vulnerable youth,” said Kincaid.

The jail also maintains a leisure library for inmates, which is staffed by a librarian. The librarian and two inmate workforce members put selected books on a mobile cart and visit every cell block at least once a week for delivery and collection.

 

How You Can Help
If you or a group is interested in donating new or gently used books, contact Fary at 703-246-4495, TTY 711 or email sheriff@fairfaxcounty.gov and put Little Library in the subject line. Hardback covers are not allowed for the inmate library, but both hardback and paperback books will be accepted for the Little Library.

 

Inside the Jail

For more information on the Adult Detention Center, be sure to check out our three-part Inside the Jail series.

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