Books to Prisoners: SCC students tackle social justice with a book drive

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Associated Student Government Social Justice Officer Emily Stensland with some of the
 many books that have already been donated to the Books to Prisoners book drive.
Photo courtesy SCC

Shoreline Community College students are partnering with Books to Prisoners, a Seattle-based nonprofit that sends free books to prisoners nationwide, for a winter quarter book drive.

The partnership is the brainchild of Shoreline’s Reference and Instruction Librarian Chloe Horning, who was inspired by the campus Community Read of Octavia’s Brood, a science fiction anthology exploring issues of social justice.

“I’ve volunteered with Books to Prisoners in the past,” said Horning, “and have been inspired by their commitment to increasing social equity by encouraging the pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement through books. 
"With the introduction of Octavia’s Brood to campus, and the in–depth discussions about equity that anthology is prompting amongst the campus community, I just felt like the time was ripe for a collaboration with Books to Prisoners, as prison justice is one of the most important social justice issues facing society today.”

The drive is being organized by the Associated Student Government’s Social Justice Officer, Emily Stensland.

“I think it’s just so important to bring this type of awareness to campus and to get the larger community involved,” said Stensland. “Without access to education, prisoners are in a losing situation.”

Books to Prisoners staff member Michelle Dillon emphasizes the importance of the nonprofit’s mission.

“Books are vital sources of education, comfort, and connection to the outside world,” said Dillon. “Research shows that access to educational opportunities, including books, significantly reduces recidivism and improves the quality of life during incarceration.”

Donations for the book drive are being accepted now through the end of winter quarter, which concludes Friday, March 18.

Members of the community are encouraged to donate books by dropping them off in one of two bins on campus: one located inside the main entrance to the PUB (9000 bldg.) and one on the main floor of the Ray W. Howard Library (4000 bldg.). (campus maps).

Though Books to Prisoners collects and distributes a wide spectrum of materials, genre books, as well as nonfiction and fiction works by African-American authors, are the most often requested. Check out the list of donation guidelines, to ensure your donation can be utilized.


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