Monday, October 21, 2013

Congrats to Inside Books on 15 years of service

Congratulations to Austin's Inside Books Project, which will celebrate its 15th anniversary of providing books to Texas prisoners this weekend at the Texas Book Festival. Find their press release announcing the event below the jump:

Austin-based Inside Books Project (IBP) today announced it is celebrating its 15th anniversary and will highlight the occasion with an exhibit at the Texas Book Festival on Saturday, October 26th and Sunday, October 27th. Inside Books Project sends free books and educational materials to people in prison throughout Texas. Since its inception in 1998, the all-volunteer nonprofit organization has sent over a quarter million books to Texas inmates.

This year marks IBP's first appearance at the Texas Book Festival, which is a free event located at and surrounding the Texas Capitol. IBP volunteers at Exhibitor Tent 6, Booth 609 -- at the corner of 11th Street and Congress Avenue -- will be available from 10:00am to 5:00pm each day of the Festival to introduce the organization and its activities to festival attendees and speak about IBP's mission to send free books and educational materials to Texas inmates. Books that cannot be sent to inmates will be offered for sale to help raise funds for postage, the largest expense in the nonprofit's budget.

"We are thrilled to celebrate our 15th anniversary with fellow book lovers at the Texas Book Festival this year," said Scott O'Dierno, who has volunteered with the Inside Books Project for over a decade. "Every month we receive over a thousand requests for books from Texas inmates. So, as we celebrate our 15th anniversary, we are also planning ahead for our next 15 years of service."

IBP Open House Celebration & Volunteer Day

In addition to participating in the Texas Book Festival, Inside Books Project will host an open house celebration and volunteer day on Saturday Oct. 26th from 10:00am to 10:00pm. It is great opportunity to learn more about the Inside Books Project, to send packages to inmates, and to celebrate with other guests and volunteers. IBP is located at 3121 E. 12th St. Austin, TX 78702.

For more information on the Texas Book Festival, please visit

For more information on Inside Books and the open house celebration and volunteer day, please visit or

About Inside Books
Inside Books Project is an Austin-based, volunteer-run nonprofit that sends free books and educational materials to prisoners in Texas. Inside Books is the only books-to-prisoners program in Texas, where over 140,000 people are incarcerated. Inside Books Project works to promote reading, literacy and education among incarcerated individuals and to educate the general public on issues of incarceration.


David E said...

I rejoice with you, Grits. There is a tremendous hunger for solid reading materials in our state prisons. Inside Books is to be congratulated for all they are doing. In light of the statement that they are the only group in Texas doing this, I would add that two other groups also donate books to Texas inmates: Prison Book Project and the ministry of Chaplain Ray. Thanks to every group of volunteers who work to meet the need.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Thanks David. I wonder if those folks all know about one another. Might be some possibilities for collaboration.

Anonymous said...

Grits, do you happen to know if anyone is addressing the placing of appropriate books in city & county jails?

If not, then hopefully, one of these groups will include this ignored area of concern. Anyone that’s been to jail knows first-hand that they can be more violent than prison itself due to idle hands and slap-ass games.

Anonymous said...

Regarding: the topic of Books.
Believe it or not, I noticed that the inmates that stayed out of trouble were the ones that stayed in their house reading. When that was used as a sign of weakness by those wishing harm, it doubled as a weapon.

Some had only a Bible and pamphlets from Colson or a Koran, while others had college books. Some of them were used as cushions placed on top of butt-cans.

Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, last night I just happened to notice the large cans on the bottom shelf of a Walmart as I walked by. It brought back memories of books and how creative the captured audiences utilize them and how they changed my life.

One day, I picked up one of them and ended up reading the entire thing leading to a: GED, two Vocational courses & three years of college. When a guard left his copy of Bruce Lee's fighting methods, I read it all night and hand copied it before shift change. It's at the dojo along with every single book I could carry.

In that time frame, I removed hundreds of books from butt-cans & gave them to the new boots arriving on the chain. With one statement.

You can use your time wisely and read till you puke or, you can do other people's time with them and end up on a slab.