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Over the past eight years, Daniel has spearheaded many unique and innovative programs that have earned awards and accolades ranging from of a National Association of Counties Award to a Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award, and Daniel himself has been recognized a Mover and Shaker by .

Inspired by a career peculiarity unique to corrections—that is, seeing a familiar face often means a patron has landed back in jail—Daniel was inspired to offer more than recreational reading material to incite positive change in the lives of residents.

To do so, he started Freedom Ticket, an initiative that provides useful reentry resources and support to ex-offenders and teaches them how public libraries can help them acclimate to life after release.

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In this program, parents are taught about the benefits of early literacy and the children are given an avenue to connect with their incarcerated parent.

As Daniel puts it, “It’s a bridge over the bars for the parent and child.” He’s worked in creative writing classes that are twofold, simultaneously helping build literacy skills and serving as potential therapeutic outlets, and the residents’ work has resulted in nine books that are available through Hennepin County Library.

His more recent work is a marriage of his advocacy for residents on an individual and familial level and focuses on how public libraries can better serve families affected by incarceration.

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This age-old adage hits us literature lovers all the time; the first few pages into our new favorite novel, a perfectly crafted sentence we’ve just penned, a poem rolled over our tongues, and sometimes, if we’re lucky, this lightning bolt of sureness can strike and change the course of our lives.

Love, or rather, love poetry, is where it began for Daniel Marcou.While he thought he’d be a veterinarian when he grew up, and secretly wishes to work on a crab boat (hey, Discovery Channel, how about a residency on the Cornelia Marie?), this life-long librarian—literally, he’s worked in libraries since he was sixteen—came to his current career as a corrections librarian by way of a bookmobile stop at a corrections camp in rural Wisconsin.A bit tentative about his first visit to a camp (and let’s be real, most folks would likely have some hesitation if they’d never been given a real-world opportunity to revisit their prejudgments), his concern was not quelled when he heard a slam against the van and looked out to find two men arguing.They opened their doors and welcomed the residents regardless, and one of the inmates who’d been quarreling approached Daniel and asked, “You guys got any love poems?” The fight was about who had been the first in line to get a book, and a book of love poems no less. Having since retired from bookmobiling, Daniel currently serves as the outreach librarian for Hennepin County Library and provides library services and programs to residents of the Hennepin County Adult Corrections Facility.

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