Cedar Park woman spearheads book drive after serving time

After spending some time in jail, a Cedar Park woman realized the need for something as simple as "books" in the Williamson County Jail.

“You hear about jail food being inadequate or unacceptable, truly it's the toothpaste and lack of book choices,” said Kristi Kleinman.

A five-day stay in the Williamson County Jail opened Kristi Kleinman's eyes to the book shortage.

“The tiny compartment where they kept books was empty. There were literally two and a half books....half a novel,” said Kleinman.

With supply being so low, there wasn't much to choose from. Kleinman says while she was there, she didn't see a book cart making the rounds like she expected. Because of that, inmates held onto novels.

“They're very possessive of the books they can get, which I understand and I'm happy to see that, but that's also what expresses the need for books,” said Kleinman.

Once she got out, Kleinman told her probation officer she was interested in starting a book drive to help. By January 15, she hopes to collect at least 650 books, and make the drop-off at the jail.

“The sooner I can get books into everyone's hands the better,” said Kleinman.

When it comes to jail, food and clothing are the essentials. Kleinman hopes this serves as a reminder that it is also essential to keep the mind busy and enriched.

“They want to keep a peaceful, calm environment in the jail which is very understandable and I think one of the best ways to do so, is through reading,” said Kleinman.

Officer Allen Byers with the library says since word has gotten out, lots of donations have been pouring in.  Kleinman is still hoping to get more books to hit her 650 goal. You can email her at kleinmank1970@att.net 

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