Books Inside Covid 19 Update

We are writing to you at a time when the information we would send today may have changed entirely by tomorrow, or even in the next hour.  At this moment, our plan is to do everything possible to continue sending books to both facilities and individuals. All prisons across the country are closed to visitors and most volunteers.  Many, if not all, places are in modified lockdown which restricts movement for people inside going to classes, gyms, recreation, and work. If, on the outside, our lives feel dramatically altered, people in prison now have even less access to anything that may well have been constructively sustaining their days. From this perspective, books will become even more important than they have been.The dilemmas that we face are:

  1. Our books, primarily, come from three retail locations which have now all closed. Although we have a good number of books on the shelves, sending out 1,000-1,500 a month will rapidly take all of our reserves.
  2. In order to limit exposure for people working in a small space, volunteers will not be coming to the bookroom to process any incoming books which means that sorting, packing, and mailing will take considerably longer.
  3. As a project and in tandem with a  partner project, Fountain Pen Education, we are in contact with many individuals in prison by mail and a growing number who have been/are being released. We’re finding that they, especially those who have recently returned to the free world, may well not have enough food as they have been working at lower-paying jobs, and we are doing what we can to provide some basic products.
Our requests:
  1. If you are in the Salt Lake area, books and/or small contributions of non-perishable food can be left on the steps to the right side of our bookroom door. The address is: 3090 E 3300 S which is in the office complex behind Millcreek Cafe, the third door from the north end. If it does work for you to leave us books, fewer at a time is preferable since we have few people helping. Food and/or books can easily be left outside the door without having contact with another person. Even small contributions right now will be huge and much appreciated.
  2. For people outside Salt Lake, please get in touch with us at the email below.
Any questions, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

This period of time is unprecedented and we, as everyone else, are negotiating the changes step by step. We’ll do our best to keep updates on the website, so please check there before you do leave anything as local restrictions could change.

Thank you for your awareness of people in and coming out prison! May we all be well, stay healthy, and use this time of high change to create structures that are of the greatest benefit to everyone.

Books Inside and Fountain Pen Education