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By MELANIE MOORE
BLACKFOOT â€” The Shoshone-Bannock Corrections facility now has a library of more than 800 books thanks to a local Boy Scout.
Macalister Loos, 15, is a sophomore at Blackfoot High School and a member of Boy Scout Troop 239. His father, Mark Loos, is a corrections officer at the Shoshone-Bannock Corrections facility and suggested Macalister conduct a book drive to supplement the book selection at the jail, where inmates had fewer than 100 books to choose from.
Macalister began the book drive in December, placing donation drop boxes throughout Fort Hall and Blackfoot. Book City in Idaho Falls kicked off the drive, donating two large boxes of books. Fellow Scouts Conner Loosâ€”Macalister's brotherâ€”and Dylan Dougal helped post fliers and spread the word about the book drive.
"I didn't really expect to be able to collect 800 books for my project," Macalister said. "I was actually surprised. I'm really glad."
He took the project one step further, placing colored stickers on the spine of each book designating whether it was science fiction, romance, action and other categories. He also collected numerous books appropriate for teens.
Julie Edmo, interim corrections specialist, said the donation was exciting for the staff as well as the inmates, many of whom have already read the books available to them.
"It's a really good thing for our inmates," Edmo said. "It's pretty awesome."
Inmates are allowed to check out three books each week. The books will be made available to both juvenile and adult inmates who have been anxiously anticipating the delivery of the books.
"Now they have a chance to read books," Edmo said.