Our library has been built entirely with books donated by community members. We answer letters every week and mail packages at least once a month. However, our shelf space is limited, there are a lot of books that inmates do not request, and prisons put limits on what we can send. For these reasons we ask that people donate the following highly requested subjects/genres:
- Role-Playing Games- especially Dungeons & Dragons
- Spanish Language Books/ Dictionaries
- How To Books, e.g. Electrical Wiring, Carpentry, and Homesteading
- How to Draw or Paint (no nude images)
- Health/Fitness/Nutrition (consider whether it would be applicable to an inmate)
- Finance/Small Business/ Stock Market
- Science Fiction/ Fantasy
- True Crime
- Mysteries/ Thrillers
- Urban Fiction
- Graphic Novels and Manga
- African American History, particularly the Black Power Movement
- Self-Help (consider whether it would be applicable to an inmate)
- Conspiracy Theories
- Basic Math (no statistics books please)
- Medical Dictionaries and Anatomy Books
Please do not donate hardcover books. Many facilities do not accept them and they are expensive to mail. If you are unsure whether we would want the books you have please send us an email, and we will be happy to let you know.
We have donation bins at Last Word Books and Browsers in downtown Olympia and at our space in The Center for Community Based Learning and Action on The Evergreen State College Olympia campus.
If you have books to get rid of that are not of interest to inmates, but you still want to support this project, please consider selling them at Orca Books or at Last Word Books and asking that the credit be applied to the Books to Prisoners account. We can use this credit to fill holes in our library and meet unusual requests.
And finally, if you are interested in donating books to institutional libraries, please check out this link: Institutional Library Services.