Greetings, loyal readers! It's your friendly neighborhood prison librarian back with an important PSA about personal hygiene in prison and where it is and is not ok to take care of your personal needs with regard to your cleanliness.
Yesterday I was looking something up in the office on my computer and one of the clerks came to the door and said, "Um. I don't want to be a tattle tale but there is a girl listening to music and clipping her nails out there and it is grossing me out." Since I am the Voice of Reason, I immediately went out and tapped on the table to get the attention of the perpetrator. Apparently she was very engrossed in what she was doing because I had to rap my knuckles not once or twice but THRICE before she acknowledged I was there.
With a heavy sigh she looked up at me and removed one headphone from her ear to her forehead and said annoyedly, "Yes?"
"I need to talk to you in the hallway please," I told her because if you remember from previous posts, one of the cardinal rules of prison librarianship is Don't Confront People About Things When They Have an Audience.
She spent a good 30 seconds wiping the nail clippings from her pants into her hand (at least it wasn't to the floor) and then she followed me out to the hallway where I informed her that nail clippers are not allowed in the library and doing personal hygiene is frowned upon in that setting and then I gave her the option to stay and I would send the nails clippers to Property or she could go back to her unit and lose the rest of her library time. Due to the fact that one has to work at least 3 days on prison pay to afford nail clippers, she elected to do the latter and returned to her unit, surprisingly with no attitude. Because she was compliant, I just gave her a verbal warning which should be enough to keep her from doing it again.
Now, on the positive side, I am glad that patrons feel so comfortable in the library, but whether you are clipping nails, threading eyebrows, or popping zits, there are just some places you don't do certain things and the library is one of them.
Until next time!