Donate Your Books to the Salt Lake County Jail

[Ed. Note: This is a great guest contribution from the fabulous Kyl Myers.]

I teach sex education at the Salt Lake County Jail and every once in a while, during the class, a woman with a cart of books rolls into the pod of cells. The inmates immediately look through the glass of the locked classroom at the librarian, then look back at me, and then back at the books. “You all want to take a quick break so you can get your books?” I’ll ask. Their faces light up and they filter into a single file line to check out their books. Sometimes they get new books every week, sometimes it takes a month – either way, the inmates at the Salt Lake County Jail love to read and they excitedly wait for their turn at that last book of the Hunger Games trilogy or for that special issue of Good Housekeeping for the recipes everyone keeps saying they want to try when they are released.

There are stacks and piles of those racy romance novels your grandma reads with a picture of Fabio undressing a maid and they are on a pirate ship and it’s kinda hot, but then you’re kinda grossed out at yourself for wanting to read it.

Anyway – The last time the librarian rolled into Jailtown, I asked her if there was a way for the public to donate books for the inmates – she said all of the books are donated and that they could always use more.

So, are you sick of donating your books to that local thrift store that receives free loot and then marks it up 78,621,449% from its retail value? Yeah, me too. So here is how you can donate your books and magazines to a fabulous cause:

Take your paperback books (they don’t accept hardcover) to ANY Salt Lake County library and inform the librarian that you would like your books donated to the Salt Lake County Jail.

Voila – that easy. You just contributed to inmate literacy and told Deseret Industries that local thrift store to suck it.



  1. Great to know! Thanks!

  2. I donated today and found out the jail can’t accept hardbacks.

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