One of the perks of being a prison librarian is that you are never bored at work. And if you find yourself beginning to get bored, administration will shake things up a bit by holding a facility shakedown. Facility shakedowns are fun! We get the Emergency Response Team out with their camo and low-lethal weapons and everyone from case managers to kitchen staff to teachers to (you guessed it) librarians gets to go to the housing units and go through everyone's stuff with a fine-tooth comb to look for such fun things as shanks, drugs, sex toys, tattooing equipment and other various nuisance contraband and overdue library books. (Mainly I am the only one looking for that last thing, but I have a partnership with the Lt. in charge of scheduling those things so next time EVERYONE is going to look for library books that are overdue! Woohoo the power of prison networking!)
One day during a facility shakedown, I got paired with the Law Librarian to do shakes. As we donned our gloves and received our shakedown slips, I said "They better watch out! Team Library is in the house!" and we headed off to our first cell. We got through the foot lockers and clothing without finding anything and then we moved on to the desk area. One of the offenders had a bottle of fiber pills that still had the cotton in it, even though the pills were almost expired. Being the awesome shakers that we are, Team Library used the offender's pen to pull the cotton out of the bottle and what did we find but a bunch of brown fiber pills and 5 white pills. "One of these things is not like the other! One of these things just doesn't belong!" I sang from Sesame Street, thereby identifying myself as a member of the Millennial Generation. That ended our shakedowns for the day because after we finished that cell we were excused to go to Medical to have the pills identified.
Although the pills turned out to be prescription pills that she didn't have a prescription for, rather than oh, ecstasy or something like that, we were still Team Badass of the Day. We determined that our new motto would be "Team Library! We find pills!" and from then on it was. Since that day we have had a few more shakedowns, but Team Library has only found boring things, like nude pictures of offenders that they send to each other (let me tell you how awkward it is to see nude pictures of library regulars...yikes!) and mysterious liquids in bottles that don't belong. Oh, I guess one time we did find the ingredients for prison hooch--bread, oranges, and sugar. They keep it under their bed until it ferments and then drink it to get drunk, even though I hear it smells disgusting and tastes even worse.
I can't wait to see what we find at the next facility shakedown! I'm starting to get bored and caught up with work so I am sure it will be any day now.