When I first came to the Washington Corrections Center Library in 2010 I went through a little bit of a culture shock. I had worked in other facilities, but nothing like WCC. This library serves a small population of inmates who are housed here on a long term basis, but the institution has the unique aspect of being the receiving center for all male inmates in the state of Washington.
In 2011 I asked if the library could provide service to the Recieving Units, otherwise known as the R-Units. I got approval, which lead to several months of a rotating door. The inmates moved in and out of the institution so fast that I was not able to keep up with them. Because this led to the loss of too many library materials, this trial service was suspended. However, we were lucky that we still had all of the books and other material from the McNeil Island Corrections Center library that has closed in 2010. This material found a home in the R-Units here at WCC giving the many readers that transititioned through the facility an escape from prison life.
During this trial period, we also started serving a unique unit here at WCC, the Re-Entry Unit. This unit is full of offenders who have 6 months or less till they return to society. I have been grateful that I have been able to provide them with much needed re-entry material that will help them transition into society. They continue to come to the library today and will be joining the long term inmates in our WCC Reading Program as we read some of the classics.
Even as 2011 came to a close I realized that the ups and downs have made us all stronger and we continue to provide a much needed service to the inmates in all of our institutions. I personally look forward to moving forward in 2012.