Jail Fundraiser Photo

The stand-in deputy guards the library entrance during the library's 2019 fundraiser, which brought in nearly $7,000 for library outreach programs.

McLean County Public Library is considering a virtual jail fundraiser in place of its traditional annual jail fundraiser this year due to COVID-19. Outreach programs coordinator Angie Smith said funds will go towards the library’s bookmobile and library supplies.

While the plans for hosting a virtual fundraiser are not quite set in stone yet, Smith said the library is planning for around 35 participants in hopes of raising between $6,000-$7,000.

The idea for now is that the library will create a portable jail and take it to the “inmates” and have them take a photo with it to post on the library’s Facebook page and in the front of the library.

“We still have it in the planning stage, but we’re more than likely going to do a virtual jail. We are setting it for October, don’t have a definite yet,” Smith said. “What our intensions are is the 35 people who we already have names for that were turned in … we have a portable jail that we’re going to fix up and we’ll take it them.”

In other ways, the annual jail fundraiser will work the same. People wishing to make bail payments for jailbirds can pay at the library or over the phone. Bail typically costs around $300.

Although the bookmobile has been out of use for most of the duration of COVID-19 due to difficulty socially distancing while on-board, Smith said the library has still been catering to its patrons and just as busy as usual, especially doing deliveries during quarantine. Funds raised will go toward purchasing materials for the library and for maintaining the bookmobile when it is being more frequently used.

A definite date has not yet been set for the fundraiser, but is likely to take place between Oct. 19-23.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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