Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wacky prison weather

Generally our prison doesn't have wacky weather but today was definitely an exception. I was sitting at my desk, happily recataloging CDs and enjoying the fact that my afternoon meeting was cancelled when I looked out the window and noticed it getting dark--FAST.
Now I am generally a weather exaggerator because things are more dramatic and hilarious that way. However, today no exaggeration was needed. The dichotomy of blue sky to the left and black clouds to the right was meterologocally beautiful. After the tornado green was thrown in, it was a sky to rival the sunrises from my deck.
I called my HB because he is in the know about things like that and I figured if I was going to get blown to another state I could at least say Loveyoubye. Then I called the Teacher 2 and said "Hey! Come on down and watch this crazy weather with me!" because tornadoes are always more fun with friends. By the time she got there the convective energy was really starting to build and we watched, mesmerized, as the clouds swirled faster and faster.
We were gaping out the window when we heard the sirens go off and a voice came over the radio and said "Everyone get AWAY from the windows!" because I guess we were not the only ones looking haha.  We decided to go out and see what everyone else was doing and round people up to get them to safety.
One of my colleagues called Control and they said to get everyone away from the glass and take shelter, so because the bathrooms were full I took another teacher and her class to my storage closet which has no windows, just huge heavy shelving units and thousands of books. But I figured hey, if we were going to die, at least we would die surrounded by great literature.
Now, one thing to know about prison library patrons, especially women, is that many of them have PTSD. Things like this freak them out big time. The group with me was pretty calm, even though one girl asked in all seriousness if we were going to die. To maintain the peace, and because I didn't feel like we were going to die, I told her "Nope. No dying today" and she was mollified.
When all the craziness of torrential rain, wind and hail passed, I called Control to ask if it was safe to come out now. "Come out of where?" they asked. "Um, SHELTER..." I replied. "Nobody went into shelter," they told me. "EVERYONE was in shelter up here," I informed her. Classic case of one hand not knowing what the other is doing apparently.
Times like this make me wish we had a camera because the clouds were amazing and the amount of hail afterwards looked like a snow storm had hit. We were instructed to send everyone back (escorted...unescorted....depended on whom you asked haha) and then return to whatever it was we were doing before almost-mageddon.
Let this be a lesson though, potential prison librarians. Become familiar with emergency procedures and evacuation routes and shelters because you never know when you will have to take charge in an emergency because other people are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Until next time!


  1. Hi! I am starting a MLIS program soon and am interested in correctional librarianship. I am so glad I found your blog! Could I e-mail you some questions about the profession? Thanks!

  2. Hi Katherine! Welcome to the world of potential prison librarianship! I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. I think it would be beneficial for all potential prison librarians if you can post them to the blog, that way everyone can read the answers and ask their own questions if they want. 😊