2011 saw many changes at the Airway Heights Corrections Center (AHCC). The institution changed to a closed movement facility and this has had a dramatic impact on library attendance. From what was a full library most movements has changed to about half our normal capacity.
We started the year out with a Library Snapshot Day. Everyone had a blast and the atmosphere here was full of excitement. In February DOC started to make changes to increase security and for the next 6 months we were open and then closed due to lack of inmate clerks. Our budgets had been slashed so we started to feel the impact of that. Even with all the changes within DOC, the AHCC library has remained the center of activity. I still see all my regular patrons and reading remains high on the list of positive activities within the prison environment.
In October, the AHCC branch library distributing the first book for our “AHCC Library Reads Together” program. We had our first session at the end of November and discussed Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. Since then the program has tripled in size and we have read The Skyfisherman by Craig Lesley and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. We are just starting our newest selection, Little Bee by Chris Cleave. This program is really having a positive impact. The inmates are talking about these books in their day rooms and the discussions in our group are amazing.
I have high hopes for the AHCC library in 2012.