Volunteer as an Individual | as a Group | In a Jail Library | Find our Volunteer Entrance
Volunteer Sessions
7:00 - 9:00 PM Tuesdays
2:00 - 4:00 PM Saturdays


Our volunteers read letters from prisoners and select books from our collection in response to their requests. Volunteers also do book boxing, book cleaning, book sorting, emptying book donation bins, data-entry and packing/shipping. If you'd like to volunteer with us, please note:

  • Our workspace is not accessible yet. We only have stairs.
  • We require proof of full vaccination at your first visit and compliance with COVID precautions as listed in the room.
  • Our sessions are limited to 10 people.
  • Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult volunteer.
To learn more, send an email to contact@books2prisoners.org

Our Volunteer entrance is located on the South side of the building and is separate from the buildings main entrance. To find our entrance from the buildings main entrance (large staircase w/ columns) if facing the main entrance, you will need to go around the building to your right and locate the staircase to the basement which has a sign for Books to Prisoners. Check below for a map.

Volunteer Groups

Due to our limited space and budget, we are limited in what we can offer in the way of private group sessions beyond the three public sessions already scheduled (as laid out at the top of this page in a table).

If your group includes more than five people, we may be able to accommodate you if your group makes a signinficant contribution, such as helping with our book sales, organizing a targeted book drive, donating financially, etc.

To learn more about volunteering as a group, please send an email to contact@books2prisoners.org

Jail Library

UC Books to Prisoners stocks, staffs and operates a lending library in Champaign County's jail. No experience is required to take part in this truly unique volunteer opportunity.

Champaign County requires that participants be at least twenty-one years of age in order to qualify.

UC Books to Prisoners asks that you can commit to working one 2-3 hour shift per month, during which you will be paired with an experienced library volunteer and provided training while you work together in a safe, enjoyable atmosphere.

History of our jail library

Jail Library Hours of operation:
Friday 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

For more information on getting started as a volunteer Jail Librarian, send an email to library@books2prisoners.org

Find Us

Our workshop is located in the basement of the Independent Media Center at 202 S. Broadway Ave in Urbana, IL. Volunteers can park in the garage on the North-West corner of Broadway and Elm.

Our Volunteer entrance is located on the South side of the IMC building. Follow the blue arrows below from Elm Street, around the building to the alley between Lincoln Square Mall and the IMC, or approach from the North entrance to Lincoln Square. During advertised volunteer hours, follow the stairwell to the bike project / books to prisoners. The exterior building door is heavy - if it appears to be locked when you arrive, ring the door bell.

find us