Monday, December 31, 2007

Follow that Van!

As we pulled into our parking spot, a favorite deputy walked up to our "Jails Van." He had a quizzical look on his face, then broke into a smile. He had been staring at the magnetic poster on the side of our van that says, "Your Library Card-- Get It!"

This diehard deputy thought our sign said, "Your Liberal Card--Get It!" That's right, L-I-B-E-R-A-L! This made our day, being the card-carrying A.L.A. members that we are!

No bad reflection on our Conservative confreres in the Jails Library business. I'm sure they're out there...somewhere...diligently preserving the rights of the poor and oppressed. :-)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200!

Go directly to this link:

Our little old blog is mentioned, but much more besides.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Criminal Justice and Karma

The accused and the accusers come to court
intent upon their side, alone.
But criminal and victim form a whole.
Dante, Milton, Blake portrayed
the devil as a fallen arrow
shot from the Creator's bow.

A fallen angel is an angel still.
Karma acknowledges each deed
and sees its true reciprocal.
Love is a self-exciting dynamo, a magnetic field
generated by Earth's core. It sends out
tender cords to pull all things back to itself.

Where is the human heart that judges all,
the karmic wheel within the wheel
that turns within this blue green world?
It spins upon an axis of desire.
The one who comprehends desire
dispenses justice, a deeper thing than guilt.

--Dan Hess

Dan's 2-cents: Of course, this is why we bring them books. They are part of us, or as Tennyson once wrote: "I am a part of all that I have met...."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dublin, we love you!

The Jails' team wants to thank the Friends of the Library at Dublin for extraordinary generosity. The whole van was filled. With "hauls" like this, the program based on 75% donations can continue.

Though this Staff member looks beat, he knows that a bin in the van is worth a "book in the hand" of some happy inmate.

Keep 'em coming. Yeehah!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Needle in "La-Haye" Stack

Don't get me wrong, but a Deputy reported last Thursday that he found a needle taped in a book. Whether it was the Left Behind series or not, the Needle was Left Behind by someone!

It came as a huge shock to the library staff. He said the tape was yellowing so the needle had obviously been in the book for some time.

We have no idea if it was "our" book, stamped with our county and branch. He didn't keep the book to show us, just reported it to us casually. I wish we could have seen the title and determined its origin. Strangely enough, nearly every book passes the scrutiny of one of three people on our staff during its selection and processing. Since we choose the books, we often remember where and when we got them.

So we don't know the book's origin. This is the big problem and cause to blog or scream from the rooftops. Every paperback in the jail is perceived as OURS. Though the copy may originate at an outside vendor and come in through the mail, or through the Chaplain's program with its healthy book budget, or be brought in casually by a technician or deputy--all books wind up on OUR CARTS or in bags for our removal if inmate cells are "shaken down."

Only our longevity as a book service, our yearly contract, and the trust which each librarian or library assistant creates "on the job" ensures that we are welcome. Needles in books are a serious blow to that trust. This particular deputy was very jovial and enjoys getting books into the hands of inmates. There have been many deputies who might have called our whole program into question.

Obviously, we should and do check our books and magazines. Small taped items with hardly any thickness could float around for years unnoticed. I guess it's human trickery and human error, and I should just take a deep breath. Perhaps inmates saw the needle and passed it by, preferring a dose of fiction or non-fiction to dope. Hmmmm???? Likely story!