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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Cellhouse Rules Guest Blog by Becky Jackman

Becky Jackman, School Librarian at New Providence Middle School, guest blogs today. Alcatrez Cellhouse Rules Guest Blog by Becky Jackman

Sometimes I find inspiration in unlikely places. I went to ALA Midwinter expecting to learn about great new books, to have wonderful discussions with co-workers from around the country, and to return to work revived, refreshed, and renewed. I never expected that the most lasting impression would actually come from a side trip to San Francisco.

RULES–Loud talking, shouting, whistling, singing, or other unnecessary noises are not permitted. If you saw these rules posted in a library, you probably wouldn’t think twice about it. But what if you saw them on a sign that said “Regulation #30. Cellhouse Rules”. Does that make you stop and think? Should libraries and prisons have the same rules?

It made me stop and really consider what I want “my” library to be like. Do I really want the rules in my library to be almost the exact same rules that Alcatraz prison had? I bought the sign to put in my office so that I am continually reminded that I’m running a library, not a prison. I wish that I could talk more eloquently about this subject. The imagery of this idea has weighed on me since I returned from Midwinter.