November 16, 2012
Open Books, Open Minds Celebrates Fifth Anniversary
The Columbus Bar Foundation project, in support of the Media Center at Juvenile Detention, begins its annual holiday fund raising and book collecting campaign by again joining forces with the Sawmill branch of Barnes & Noble in their holiday season Book Fair. This year’s event is Dec. 1 and 2 at the Sawmill location on 3685 West Dublin-Granville Road.
Every purchase made at the Sawmill location on those two days will benefit OPEN BOOKS OPEN MINDS, merely by making the request at the time of check out. For those who plan to do holiday shopping at B&N, but prefer to shop online (www.bn.com), the Book Fair benefit to OBOM also applies to online purchases from Dec. 1 through 7 by entering code 10928596 at the time of your order.
Since the beginning of OBOM funds have been provided to create the Media Center in the Franklin County Detention Center, stock and maintain the library with books, magazines and educational materials, set up computers and pay for the application fees of the youth who take the GED test while in detention.
With the involvement and dedication of JDC superintendent Herb Henderson, Media Center director Naja Boone, and teacher Barbara Bain, the library has become a vital part of JDC programming.
Those who had never picked up a book, look forward to regular visits to the Media Center. The JDC proudly displays the numerous certificates of those who have successfully earned their GED awards, on the “wall of achievement” in the main corridor of the facility. Recently, Ms Boone, has expanded the use of the Media Center to assist interested youths in establishing a newsletter in which they can express their ideas and journalistic talent.
The success and continuity of the Media Center is in large part due to the support and enthusiasm of the Central Ohio Association of Juvenile Lawyers (C0AJL) and the Juvenile Division of the Franklin County Public Defenders’ Office. Both of these groups have gathered books, made donations and promoted the purpose of OBOM.
Attorneys Rebecca Steele, COAJL liaison to OBOM, and Nancy King, head of the Juvenile Division of the PD’s office, have made a commitment to spearhead this year’s fund raising efforts.
Joining those two groups in generosity are the Columbus Bar Association Alliance and the FOP Auxiliary. Each has taken special interest in OBOM by making it a focus of their fund raising efforts and membership support.
None of these efforts would have been effective without the skilled day-to-day operation and management of OBOM by Columbus Bar Foundation director, Marion Smithberger and his tireless staff.
The combined work of so many collaborators has transformed a dream into a reality, but now we are faced with a new challenge. In June of this year, Ohio enacted a new law mandating that youth bound over to the adult system, who were formerly held in adult facilities pending trial, must now be held in the JDC. Not only has this increased the number housed, but it also means that 18 to 21-year-olds will be part of the population. It is imperative that the Media Center broaden its services to meet the JDC’s growing needs.
The Columbus Bar Foundation will be selling raffle tickets for the new Nook HD+ 32GB, proceeds to benefit OBOM. $5 per ticket/3 for $10. For additional information contact Marion Smithberger, 614/340.2070.