Wilma Alexander, a community neighbour, has been collecting and delivering books to five local prisons since 2015. Since then, and with the help of many donors, she has delivered more than 20,000 books. The Islington United Church Rummage Sale Team worked with Wilma for several years to help with the book collection. We want to continue to support Wilma and the prisoners by responding to the ongoing need for all kinds of reading material.

The Collection
Over the next several weeks, we are asking you to gather books from your shelves and encourage friends and relatives to do the same. Prisons are looking for material that is of interest to men or gender neutral only as there are very few women prisoners and the one local women’s facility is currently not taking material.

Specific guidelines must be followed: All books must be softcover and free of staples. The prison libraries also welcome magazines without staples in the bindings. If you wish to pack book donations in boxes, please use liquor store sized boxes or bags.

All the donated material will be scanned electronically,  and all markings related to previous owners are removed before the books are released to the inmates.

The Drop-off
Please bring your donations on August 13 between 10 am and 12 pm. Leave your donations on the flatbed cart that will be stationed outside the Stewart East Hall entrance of the church building. Volunteers will monitor for and take in donations so drop-offs can be made rain or shine.

Islington volunteers will sort the donations and deliver the books to Wilma in August.

Thank You
Thank you for continuing this great work by supporting the Books to Prisoners initiative.

List of Requested Softcover Material

  • popular and classic fiction and non-fiction
  • thrillers and detective novels
  • science fiction and fantasy
  • military fiction
  • graphic novels, comic books
  • history, biography, geography, nature, science, medical
  • arts
  • sports writing, physical fitness
  • travel writing (not guidebooks)
  • humour and cartoons
  • puzzle, such as crossword and sudoku, games, trivia
  • self-help, health
  • business
  • technical, trades and vocational, how-to
  • math, science and all school topics including remedial and exercise
  • young adult and older children (not picture books)
  • dictionaries, thesauri, reference (very big demand)
  • National Geographic magazines (2004 on) and general interest magazines (no staples)
  • material in languages other than English

No cookbooks/romantic novels
No hardcover books