A Shelf Life - Documentary Repeat


The job of the prison librarian -- selecting the appropriate prose for cons. Today we introduce you to a man who took on the job of running an inmate library -- and he could write a book about the experience.

Part Two of The Current

A Shelf Life - Documentary Repeat

One of the great escape stories of the Second World war took place in the war's last days at Colditz castle in Germany. British prisoners-of-war secretly built a glider in the attic of the fortress. It may seem impossible, but they were aided by a book they found in the prison library -- Aircraft Design.

Prison librarians may have the best of intentions in providing reading material for inmates -- but have to be aware that sometimes a little knowledge really can be dangerous. When a Montreal man answered an intriguing job notice in the U-S, he imagined prison would be a brand new world to discover. There were lots of discoveries, alright.

In December, freelance journalist Sarah Richards brought us this story about the confessions of a prison librarian. Her documentary is called A Shelf Life.

Since then, Jean Charbonneau has toured colleges to speak about his experience in U.S. prisons. And he has been writing. His second book is scheduled to be published next March. And it's about Montreal gangsters on Saint Laurent Boulevard, set in the 1940s.

Bullying and Plastic Surgery Mail

Yesterday on the program, we reported on children so bullied because of their appearance they opted for plastic surgery. Phil Solomon is a head and neck surgeon in Toronto whose sub-specialty is facial plastic surgery.

Christopher Pearsell-Ross of Toronto shared these thoughts with us:

Self-esteem and physical appearance, though closely linked, are in reality different beasts. I was overweight, and fiercely bullied for most of my elementary and middle school years.

While bullying was very hard to endure and challenged my self-esteem every day, I never considered changing who I was. I was able to develop strong self-esteem despite my "aesthetic issues", due to caring teachers, parents and friends.

Teaching kids they can end bullying by changing their physical appearance can only lead to a deep hollowing out of self esteem that will have long lasting effects.

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Other segment from today's show:

The Ethics of Losing to Win

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