Prison Books Collective needs a new home ASAP!

UPDATE: As of April 2016, we have moved into a new place in Durham (renting a room from Recyclique). We are currently paying more in rent than we can comfortably afford, so we might look for a new, less expensive place in 2017. Let us know if you have any leads (prisonbooks (at) gmail)!

We’re an all-volunteer, non-profit based out of Carrboro, NC. Since 2006, we’ve been sending thousands of books to NC and Alabama. We are in need of a new home in the Triangle!! Please help. In March, we lose our current space, where we’ve been since 2012.

A brief description of our needs: a space to store our books, space to store folding tables and chairs, space for letters and office supplies, and room to have at least one weekly workday with 5-10 volunteers. We used to be in a 1.5 car garage, so we can have as small a space as that. We need a space that’s open and accessible to volunteers, that has parking and access to a bathroom, along with electricity (ideally heat and AC).

One idea is to share space with a church or non-profit. We can’t afford rent at this point, although might be able to afford a small monthly donation to offset costs or trade work for space.

If you have any contacts with any groups that have space they can share with us, or if you have a space we can use, let us know!! Email us at prisonbooks (at) gmail (dot) com or post on our facebook page:

What are our basic needs?

  • Shelves for books along one or more walls (our current shelves are about 18 feet across, by 8 feet high)
  • Climate controlled space without humidity problems and with heat. Ideally AC, but we can deal without. (We’ve worked for years out of garage-like spaces but climate control helps protect books and keep volunteers comfortable)
  • Access to a bathroom (it can be in an adjacent building, as long as it’s open to volunteers)
  • Space for a file cabinet for storing zine masters, and letters
  • Space for 2-3 folding tables and 10-12 folding chairs to be stored
  • Weekly use of the space for a 3 hours session (We’ve always had our workdays on Sunday afternoons, but we can shift if needed.)
  • Parking: about 5 cars, plus occasionally more when we have a group
  • Occasional collective meetings in the space
  • The ability to share the address of the space with the public when we advertise our volunteer workdays via our website, fliers and Facebook, etc.

Our wishes:

  • Occasional access to the space for collective members on non-workdays, to drop off supplies, pick up packages to mail, pick up book donations, sort and shelve books, staple zines, take inventory
  • Ability to receive mailed boxes of books (we occasionally get book donations from publishers, and they mail us the books. They can be sent to the home of a group member, but it would be nice if they could be sent to our space)
  • Occasional book sales (about 2-4 times/year). This would involve: The week prior, storing boxes of books in the space. The day before, setting up. The day of, taking over the space we use for the workday (or another space, if our new home has a different space in mind)
  • Being able to host fundraisers. We had a comedy show once. Maybe bingo
  • Group nights (we sometimes have larger groups want to volunteer with us, and we’d like the option to host them on a different day than our regular workday)

Please share this post with others in your network, let us know if you have ideas for a space (prisonbooks (at) gmail(dot)com). And if you’re able, we’d appreciate a donation to offset costs of the move (and our weekly postage expenses to mail books!).