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The Virginia Tech Prison Book Project

Packaging books and bookshelf for the Virginia Tech Prison Book Project

What is the Virginia Tech Prison Book Project?  

We send books to incarcerated readers in Virginia. We believe Virginia Tech’s educational mission extends to Virginians behind bars, and we recognize the value of sharing books as a form of educational justice.  We respond to letters from incarcerated persons requesting books.  We got started with the generous guidance and support of the Appalachian Prison Book Project, Blacksburg Books, VT Engage, and several student organizations. Sponsored by the Department of Religion and Culture and the Center for Humanities.

We accept donations of new and used paperback books in good condition.  There is a selection of books you can purchase for donation at Blacksburg Books, 401 S. Main St.  You can also bring your own books for donation to one of three drop-off locations:

  • Virginia Tech's Women's Center front porch (206 Washington St.)
  • The Lyric Theatre Lobby (135 College Ave.)
  • Major Williams Hall 107 (collection box in hallway)

To request books
Please write to us at the address below with the recipient’s name, institution, inmate number, and and the book or kind of book they would like us to send (see list above).  If we don’t have easy access to requested books, we do our best to send something similar.  Note that we only serve folks incarcerated in Virginia and neighboring states. We can only receive requests by mail so we can answer them in the order they are received, to be fair to those who have access only to snail mail.

Virginia Tech Prison Book Project

115 Major Williams Hall

220 Stanger Street

Blacksburg, VA 24061


Get Involved

Books We Need:

  • Paperback dictionaries and thesauri
  • World almanacs
  • Foreign language learning materials (Spanish, French, Russian, German, American Sign Language, Chinese, Japanese, Latin, etc.)
  • Law or medical dictionaries
  • How-to books (art, music, crafts, yoga, exercise, business, construction, plumbing, etc.)
  • Wicca
  • Popular fiction (spy, mystery, fantasy, Westerns, science fiction, manga, graphic, etc.)
  • Educational books (GED, business, finance, writing, etc.)

Books We Do Not Need:

  • Hardcover books
  • General fiction
  • Magazines or pamphlets
  • Old textbooks
  • Books in very poor condition (badly stained books, books with markings in the text, etc.)

To participate and for more information, contact:  Brian Britt, bbritt@vt.edu


Media Links

Students enrich the lives of incarcerated people with the gift of books

Students enrich the lives of incarcerated people with the gift of books
Students enrich the lives of incarcerated people with the gift of books

Virginia Tech students connect with incarcerated individuals through books

Virginia Tech students connect with incarcerated individuals through books
Virginia Tech students connect with incarcerated individuals through books

Student volunteers help send books to incarcerated people across Appalachia

Student volunteers help send books to incarcerated people across Appalachia
Student volunteers help send books to incarcerated people across Appalachia

Reading rehab: Virginia Tech project sends books to prisoners

Reading rehab: Virginia Tech project sends books to prisoners
Reading rehab: Virginia Tech project sends books to prisoners

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