Shawshank Redemption Wiki

One of the finest prison libraries in New England.

-- Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding

The Brooks Hatlen Memorial Library was a library within Shawshank State Prison, founded by Andy Dufresne. It contained a number of books, magazines and records, including a record-player with headphones, all available to inmates. It was named for Brooks Hatlen, the library's custodian of decades, following his suicide.


It was built by Andy Dufresne after Brooks was let out of Shawshank and later committed suicide. He named it the Brooks Hatlen Memorial Library in reference to his friend and his role within the prison, especially within the library.

At its extent, the library contained several works of literature, as well as musical works such as records. With Dufresne at its helm, it quickly improved, becoming much better very quickly, containing magazines such as National Geographic and books, many of which were donated to it by nearby public libraries as a gesture of goodwill.

The library was shut down by Warden Samuel Norton to demoralise Dufrene shortly after he finished two back-to-back monthlong hole sentences, and after the Warden's killing of Tommy Williams.