There are a lot of ways to help the Prison Books Collective put free literature and educational materials into the hands of prisoners. We are always in need of your support. Every bit of help counts, whether it be volunteering your time, your experience, or making a donation to the project. Feel Free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Our biggest need right now is for more volunteers to help us fill prisoner book requests. We are 4 months behind on filling requests (as of April 2016). The work is very fulfilling: read a letter from a prisoner, find some books in our library and package them for mailing. If you would like to help, come by our workspace and we’ll get you started. There’s no need to sign up ahead of time and you can stay for as long as you wish.
Workdays are on Sundays at 1pm, and our NEW space is located at 2811 Hillsborough Road, Durham, NC 27705 (as of April 2, 2016). We are renting a room from Recyclique (so look for the Recyclique sign out front, and then park in back). If you’re interested in helping out, but can’t make a workday, or if you have any questions, drop us an email at email@example.com. We are also always in need of help organizing fundraisers, teach-ins, and publicity. We are also considering having bonus workdays on a weeknight here and there (likely a Tuesday), if that interests you, drop us a line. And if you’re part of a group that would like to volunteer together, we would probably schedule you for a Tuesday evening.
We are a non-profit organization, relying solely on donations for our operating expenses, which primarily include the cost of postage for mailing packages. We typically spend $100 a week on postage, and are in desperate need of support. On this website you can make a one-time donation or sign up to be a “sustainer“, whereby a small sum (you choose the amount) is automatically deducted from your bank account every month. $10 per month sends over a hundred books into prison per year. Go here and then follow the directions to become a sustainer.
PO Box 625
At this time, we are NOT accepting book donations. We just moved to a new space on April 2, 2016, and it is much smaller than our old space. So we already had to put a lot of books into storage. Please check back with us in mid to late May 2016.
When we do start accepting book donations again, here are our guidelines:
Most prisons do not allow hardcover books, therefore we can only send paperback books to prisoners. Donations must be in good condition. Also, we can use most non-fiction and fiction if it is in new or very good condition. These books can either be sold online or through book sales to raise money for postage. Each $3 that we raise is another prisoner that we can get books to.
PLEASE DONATE. THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS ARE ALWAYS IN DEMAND:
- Dictionaries (English, Spanish-English, and Law…)
- African-American history, politics, culture
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X and/or books about MLK, Jr.
- Latin American history, politics, culture
- GED or Basic Education Materials
- ESL books
- Books in Spanish
- Books about starting or running your own business
- Yoga, meditation, and other spiritual disciplines (such as Wicca)
- How-to books on art, carpentry, and other trades
- Health—particularly HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and Tuberculosis
- Books on social movements and liberation struggles
Please email us if you have books to donate, and we’ll arrange a pick-up or drop-off at our new space in Durham: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact us if your business, church, or other organization would like to serve as a book drop off center and/or hold a book drive!
Does your school, college or university have a service learning requirement? We welcome high school and college students to complete their requirements with us. We can fill out whatever paperwork is necessary. If you are interested, please talk to a member of the core group at one of our packing sessions or email email@example.com.
We are also in constant need of photocopying services to copy our letterhead, and many zines. We could also use more large clasp envelopes. Please consider donating the following items:
- Photocopying services (to copy our zines and other materials)
- Clasp envelopes (9″ x 12″ and 10″ x 13″)
- Packing materials
- Brown paper bags
- Packing tape
- Laptop computer
- Shipping tape dispensers
- Gift certificates to OfficeMax, Staples, etc.
In addition to our weekly workdays, the group holds a collective meeting about every other month, where we plan fundraising initiatives, brainstorm future projects, discuss priorities, and generally assess how things are going. There are no presidents or “chairmen,” and all decisions are made by consensus. To attend collective meetings, we ask that participants have a long-term commitment to the group, and broadly share our vision for a world without prisons. If you have questions about this, feel free to drop us an email, or come to one of our workdays.