Friday, October 31, 2014
Our final ghost story of this Halloween season points to poltergeist activity in the library, in addition to apparitions....
Back when I was working swing shifts, I was waiting for the evening library session to start and getting a little work done on my computer. I heard a huge commotion in the library proper, which was weird because no movement had been called yet and my door was locked anyway...
I went out to investigate and noticed the Open/Closed sign that we have suction-cupped to the door had flown TEN FEET from the front door. Now, sometimes it falls off when the suction cup loses it's suction but it has NEVER fallen more than inches from the door. AND the suction cup and sign were not connected like they usually are when it just falls off.
It seems like the library ghost has been calm lately, which my conspiracy theorist clerk attributes to the giant picture she drew of an ogre that she says scared it away. Be that as it may, just be advised, future prison librarians, that prisons are places where people live AND die, so you may or may not have to help some of the confused spirits along to the light, or be the brunt of their pranks when they just want to hang out and cause shenanigans. :-)
Until next time!
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
This story is a throwback from when we used to let the male patrons from the facility across the way actually visit the library in person.
One night when the men were coming to the library I was standing at the door counting everyone with the clicker because I don't trust the clerks to get everyone accurately. I counted and clicked 6 patrons and thought nothing of it...until it came time to leave.
As we were checking the patrons at the end of the hour, I noticed that there were only 5 patrons in the library.
"Where is your extra person? I think you are missing one," I alerted the escorting officer.
"Ummm, we just brought 5 over today," he responded.
Now, I KNOW I counted 6 because I am so anal about counting the correct number of people and when you have that small of an amount of patrons, it is not hard to get an accurate count of people coming in the door.
Library Ghost strikes again......
Monday, October 27, 2014
One day Minion #1 was working and he got an offender's ID for a writing utensil. When the offender gave the pencil back, he forgot to give her ID back and even forgot that it was in his pocket until he got home that evening.
Thinking nothing of it (he was planning to take it back to the unit when he retrieved book drop) Minion #1 got the work the next day and was shocked to discover that THE PATRON HAD DIED THE NIGHT BEFORE.
Now, she was older, but was still in good health and was not expected to kick the bucket. Housing staff even put her roommate in segregation and was investigating her for murder! Ultimately, the roommate was cleared, but now Minion #1 is extra mindful about never taking anyone elses' ID home and for good reason in my opinion!
Until next time!
Friday, October 24, 2014
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Minion #1 was covering at another facility and he was happily entering the interlibrary loan requests in the database when a patron asked for his assistance in the library. He left the office in the middle of his project to help the patron and when he returned minutes later, he noticed a very strange sight. His formerly neat piles of "done" and "not done" interlibrary loan requests were messed up and in the database was a DOC number that he did not enter.
Minion #1 was intrigued, so he checked the DOC number in our offender database and he was shocked to find that it was someone WHO HAD DIED AT THAT FACILITY FIVE YEARS AGO. Unfortunately, he must have used all his spectral energy entering his number because he didn't get to the part where he said what he wanted to request. Alas, we will never know what this patron's final ILL request was. Hopefully he got it from the afterlife library.
Until next time!
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
One day I had just arrived at work for a swing shift when some Rec staff came to see if they could borrow my library cart. I let them, because it's a good way to build good rapport for the library and they went on their merry way to run their errands.
About 20 minutes later I remembered I needed to sign for my controlled items so I stepped into the supply closet to sign the log. While I was in there, I heard the door open and a female voice call "Hello?"
"Oh, hi!" I yelled from the closet, "You can just go ahead and leave the cart there, I'll get it!" Obviously, it was the Rec staff returning my cart. EXCEPT WHEN I LEFT THE CLOSET TO GET THE CART IT WASN'T THERE!
Thinking I may have scared someone off with my out-of-context greeting, I checked the cameras to see who it was so I could follow up with them and see what they wanted. Imagine my chagrin when I discovered that NOBODY HAD OPENED OR CLOSED THE LIBRARY DOOR SINCE THE REC STAFF LEFT WITH MY CART.
When they finally did bring it back an hour later, we laughed it off, but I knew that the Library Ghost was at it again...
Until next time...doodedoodoo doodedoodoo doodedoodoo
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Ever since I have been writing this blog I have always meant to do a special Library Ghost issue for Halloween. However, the more I work in prison, the more ghost stories I have, so I am going to spread them out into MANY blogs! Enjoy!
This one happened when I first started working in prison:
We used to check the patrons' books as they were walking out the door to make sure they had the right date due stamps. One night as I was checking everyone, I noticed a girl in the back corner of the library by the Romance section. I called out to her "Ok, it's time to go, would you please bring your books over here so I can check them?" She looked at me and then ducked down behind the shelves. Thinking she dropped something, I went over to check on her and make sure everything was ok. However, when I got over there, THERE WAS NOBODY THERE.
Side note, whenever I check the cameras I always see flashing lights in that corner of the library in the camera that faces that way. And no, there is NO WAY it can be headlights because the library windows face a greenbelt.
Until next time...sleep tight! Muahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Monday, October 20, 2014
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Happy Sunday readers!
Today's blog stems from a note I wrote to my future blogging self and then just rediscovered as I was cleaning my room today. It is a timely discovery as there are lots of prison librarian jobs open at the moment. Here are a few ideas to get your application materials to stand out above the crowd and hopefully get you the coveted interview:
1. Address your cover letter to the right person. Generally this is going to be the hiring manager. If you don't know who it will be, a general "Greetings!" is much better than a salutation to the wrong person. You can always call the person listed on the job announcement to make sure and if you can't get them on the phone then just leave it generic.
2. Taking #1 to the next level- make sure you are submitting a cover letter for the correct position. Nothing impresses hiring managers less than having to read all about how you would be perfect for a job that is not even theirs. If you accidentally attach and submit the wrong one, immediately apologize and send the correct one. I need someone who has attention to detail in addition to the desire to work for my open position and if you can't even get me the right cover letter then you are definitely not the right person for the position.
3. Get a professional email address. "Sexykitten2754@hotmail.com" might give you fond memories of your college days but save that one for your friends and/or Tinder account. Use some sort of combination of your first and last name for maximum professional impact.
4. Explain exactly how your previous experience will apply to the duties of the new position. Even if you are light on library experience, you can still sell me on your server/bartending experience by highlighting your ability to work in a fast-paced environment with people who are sometimes difficult. If you have lots of other library experience tell me how you think that will transfer to prison. If you just say "I'm an awesome medical/children's/corporate librarian" without telling me how that translates to prison, you will probably not be selected.
5. It is ok to contact the person listed on the application with questions. Some good questions to ask are "What kind of personality type would fit best in this environment?" And "What strengths would you like to see in your ideal candidate?" You could also ask me to describe my typical day or ask what I like best about working there. (Note, if you don't call the person listed, these would also be good questions to ask at the end of the interview when the panel asks if you have any questions for them. But it's best to do your homework first so you can tailor your application materials and make me really interested to meet you for an interview.)
I hope this helps all of you in your job search. Please let me know if you have any other questions about how to make your application the best.
Until next time!