Spotlight on a WNPJ member group: WI Books to Prisoners

Our Mission: Wisconsin Books to Prisoners (WBTP) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster a love of reading behind bars, encourage the pursuit of knowledge and self-empowerment, and to help break the cycle of recidivism. Book drop-off sites in Madison and Milwaukee.

Who We Are

Active since 2006, WBTP is a project of A Room of One’s Own, an independent bookstore in Madison. The store offers a wide selection of current and classic fiction, nonfiction, and periodicals.

WBTP is also supported by Half Price Books, located on Madison’s east side, which offers a wide selection of new and used books that shoppers can choose to donate to WBTP.

In addition, Voyageur Book Shop, a used book store focused on providing the best selection of used books at a convenient location in Milwaukee, provides support to WBTP.

What We Do

Volunteers meet weekly to read letters from Wisconsin prisoners, select books from the WBTP library, prepare packages, and mail them. Since 2006, WBTP has gifted over 65,000 books to readers in WI prisons.

Why We Do It

Incarcerated people face significant barriers to being able to access books and information. Prison libraries are often antiquated and poorly funded, and educational and vocational programs for prisoners are nearly non-existent. WBTP volunteers love to read and want to ensure the same freedom for those living behind bars. We believe that books are tools for learning and can open minds to new ideas and possibilities.

How You Can Help

We welcome book donations. Books must be paperback, in good or better condition and must be free of highlighting, underling, library imprints or marks of any kind. We also invite you to utilize our wish list on A Room of One’s Own website to donate books in highest demand by prisoners.

And of course, we welcome financial contributions.

We are currently looking for free storage space for books in Madison, ideally a space such as a dry garage.

We are grateful for all your support.



Wisconsin Books to Prisoners
Contacts: Camy Matthay
Address: 1202 Williamson St. #1, Madison, Wi 53703
Phone: 608-455-0885