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ASCLA honors innovative program at Marshes of Glynn Libraries

GPLS News, August 2016

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ASCLA honors innovative program at Marshes of Glynn Libraries
From left: Brunswick-Glynn County Library Manager Lori Hull, Marshes of Glynn Programming Coordinator Karen Larrick and Mullis accept the award from ASCLA President Rhonda Gould.

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) has named the Brunswick-based Marshes of Glynn Libraries (MOGL) as the winner of its 2016 ASCLA Exceptional Service Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the library profession by librarians and libraries for significant achievements, program development and leadership in the profession.

MOGL earned the award through its implementation of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) program at the local jail. This innovative project teaches incarcer-ated parents and other caregivers how to support the early literacy development of their children. The selection committee cited the project as an exceptional example of how libraries can transform lives and as an excellent example of a program that can be replicated in other libraries around the country.

“We are grateful for the opportunities afforded the inmates in our facility through the ECRR program,” said Ronald Corbett, undersheriff for Glynn County. “I believe it has helped the incarcerated parents think more seriously about their children and to see a positive way they could influence and contribute to their child’s future.

“When the parents get out of jail, they will have opportunities to build stronger family bonds through ECRR. There are so many benefits to be gained from this program, but none seem more powerful than building strong family bonds.”

Geri Mullis, MOGL director; Lori Hull, Brunswick-Glynn County Library manager; and Karen Larrick, MOGL programming coordinator accepted the award at a ceremony held June 25 at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando.

“We took ECRR to the Glynn County Detention Center in support of Georgia’s B4 initiative,” explained Mullis. ”This is a short-term facility, where inmates are most often there waiting for trial or are doing short stints in detention. Karen and Lori presented ECRR to multiple men and women over the course of several days. 

“One thing we loved about it was that, after every program, all the participants got to pick out a book for their child. After making their selection, the book went home with them, giving them a reminder of what they learned — and a present to give to their child when they arrived.”