Our work changes hearts, minds and lives.

"I'm happy there's an organization out there like yours, because it keeps people like me striving for more."—J.M., incarcerated in PA

Based in Philadelphia PA, Books Through Bars is an all-volunteer nonprofit that distributes free books and educational materials to incarcerated people in PA, NJ, NY, MD, DE, VA and WV. We also offer programs that educate and engage the general public to think critically about issues of imprisonment. Each week, we receive hundreds of letters from prisoners requesting books. Each year we send over 8,000 book packages. We welcome all who wish to learn and help.

  • Calling all volunteers!

    Looking for fulfilling volunteer work? BTB has opportunities for individuals and groups. Drop in to get started: Tuesdays 7:30–9:30 PM or 1st & 3rd Saturdays, 11:00 AM–2:00 PM. Get involved now

  • Donate books

    Clean out your collection—and get friends and co-workers to help too! But before you donate, please check what we need most and when/where to bring 'em. Get the guidelines

  • Why do this?

    We believe education, not incarceration, is the answer to the devastating effects that social, educational, and economic inequality has on communities. Learn more