An Essay from The Prison-Librarian-Author

A week or so ago, I posted information about a new book coming out, a first-hand account of a prison librarian entitled "Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian".

Last week's NY TImes Magazine has a piece by the author, Avi Steinberg, which you might enjoy here. Here's a portion:

You know you’re not doing well when a prisoner regards you with pity. When a man in an oversize prison uniform — a man who could narrate the gruesome entirety of his life through the scars on his body — gives you the once-over and says: “You O.K., pal? You don’t look too good,” you know you’re in trouble.

Prison was doing me in. Although I’d taken the job as a librarian in a Boston prison largely for health insurance, I hadn’t actually needed medical care until I did. After a year and half in the joint, I was subsisting by the grace of a dream team of health care professionals: allergists, infectious-disease specialists, ophthalmologists, dermatologists, orthopedists, off-duty nurses, chiropractors, Internet quacks, back doctors, front doctors, head doctors. I’d even consulted an OB-GYN.

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