February 17, 2018

Jacquie Welsh | Movers & Shakers 2015 — Educators

Jacquie Welsh


Project Manager, “Live and Dine in LA”, Los Angeles Public Library

MA, Information Resources and Library Science, University of Arizona, 2012

Knowledge River Scholar

@jacquie_mae (Twitter, Tumblr)

Photo by Bob Stefko

Pathways from Prison

Jacquie Welsh spent most of 2014 as an embedded librarian connecting probationers and parolees with resources from the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL). “They call them offenders; we call them participants,” says Welsh, who until February 2015 served as a librarian in residence with LAPL’s Innovation Leadership Program (ILP). Inspired by the Freedom Ticket program in Hennepin County, MN, she worked with courts, probation officers, and drug rehabilitation programs to create the Pathways program, which helps former prisoners reenter society.

The eight-month pilot not only introduced 250 people to library services, showing them how to register for library cards so they could use public computers to complete course work or job applications, it delivered instruction on job hunting, health, finance, and literacy. Pathways even funded a creative writing workshop at one of its partner sites, with eight students publishing their writing, now included in the library collection.

Welsh also developed a workshop for LAPL staff to learn how to provide equitable access to those reentering the community, including on it one program participant—a mother and former gang member and drug dealer, who described how the “library ladies” taught her to read to her three-year-old daughter.

“Jacquie is a champion for diversity and reentry,” says her ILP mentor, Karen Pickard-Four, an LAPL manager. “Whether [she] serves a well-resourced community or a large homeless and mentally ill community, she plans, promotes, and creates partnerships that support community-serving initiatives.”

Having completed her residency, Welsh is now overseeing “Live and Dine in LA,” a collaboration between the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and LAPL to celebrate the area’s historic restaurants through the publication of a book and citywide events.

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.



  1. Lee Whiting says:

    Saw your presentation at ABOS conference last year and was so impressed. Congratulations on this recognition and good luck in future. Just wondering if there is any hope long-term for this program beyond the pilot? It seems so worthwhile.