Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

My Friend ~ Micro-Fiction Writer & Prison Librarian

Johnpaul Mahofski—formerly known as Relish, now known as Brokali on Book Island, in the virtual world, Second Life.

I’ve never met him in “real life” but we do have a Real friendship

We’ve had his Micro-Fiction here twice, so far:

Breaking Boundaries ~ Microfiction

Microfiction ~ Revisited

Johnpaul is also the librarian at a real prison in Maryland in the USA.

Recently, I asked him a few questions about his job:

From the figures you gave me, I notice you have over 9,000 books. What are some of the inmates’ favorites?

The collection balance is slowly growing as many have donated books, and I have purchased books. We have a normal dewey system library. With Urban fiction circulating the highest, but Horror and Mystery being second. The number one author is James Patterson. I have an entire section dedicated to his work.

Also note that we constantly weed books due to the inmates reading them until they are tattered beyond repair. Your book was like that!

I’ll be eternally grateful that you found a home for Notes from an Alien in your library :-)

So, do your patrons use the Internet?

Inmates cannot use the Internet. I can however look up things for them. Sometimes they are researching things and want more info. They like to learn about everything they read about and beyond. I have searched for them about Herod, Ring fingers, small towns, slavery, the 1968 Olympics, many medications they are prescribed and much more.

Do they use computers at all? Also, what about printed reference books?

Our reference collection, print-wise, is no different than any public library. The computers we have offer inmate resources including rehabs, outside programs once paroled, zip code finders, resume makers, typing tutors, Word, Excel, Power Point tutorials, Lexus Nexus and many other legal resources. I track stats for all of these.

They can even send for full case reports and use them to help with their legal motions. Everyone can order up to 5 cases a week.

Any special programs you’d like to mention?

Book discussions! Each unit has approximately 5-10 volunteers that read 2 books a month and then discuss them.


I can’t leave this post without mentioning that, whenever Johnpaul and I are on Book Island together, FUN  is a major part of the program :-)
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

9 responses to “My Friend ~ Micro-Fiction Writer & Prison Librarian

  1. Simone Benedict March 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Love your fiction, Mr Relish! 9,000 seems to me a substantial collection, roughly double of my own local library ;-)

    Do you have any new writing to share with us?


  2. Jane Watson March 31, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Second Life Folks can find a complete volume of JohnPaul’s wonderful microfiction at his shop on Book Island at this address:
    Or… if you are not a Second Lifer, clicking on this address above will take you to a registration page;) to register for free. Come and join a vibrant literary community!


  3. Pingback: Author Interview ~ Johnpaul Mahofski | Notes from An Alien

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