FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Due to COVID, our packing days have been temporarily suspended until further notice. Please follow us on social media for future updates.
What happens during a packing day?
A typical packing day can include any of the following activities: unpacking and shelving new books, selecting books from our readers' order forms, writing notes, creating bookmarks. Packing days take place at our offices at In These Times.
Can I bring a group youth group, school group, church group, class, etc. to a packing day?
Yes! Send us an email to let us know in advance so that we can prepare for your visit. Our packing days fill up quickly, so you can sign up as a group through our Eventbrite page as long as there are still slots available.
If you have a school group that would be interested in learning more about the school to prison pipeline please contact us via our email to learn more about our classroom connections program.
Can I bring kids to the packing day?
Yes! Please see our group guidelines (above) if you plan on bringing more than two kids per adult.
All the slots are full for our upcoming packing days, but I've already been to a packing day before and would love to come. Is there space for me?
Unfortunately we cannot accept more volunteers when a packing day is full, even if you've been there before. A great way to support us in the meantime is donate to our local bookstore partners.
This is great, but I don't live in Illinois. Is there a Liberation Library where I live?
Liberation Library is the only organization that provides books of their choosing to youth in Illinois prisons. You can support us by donating online here.
To find something in your area, we recommend Black and Pink which has chapters all around the country. You can also check out the National Prisoners Resource List for organizations in your area.
We'd love to start a similar organization in our area. How did you do it?
We were founded in January 2015 by Project NIA, which had existing relationships with the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in Illinois. Forming strong relationships with staff inside the facilities is essential for our program. All the book order requests are distributed by DJJ staff for our readers to fill out, and are then scanned and emailed to us on a regular basis.
We host bi-weekly packing days, where volunteers pull books from our library and mail off each book with a personalized letter and bookmark. Two essential elements of our program are that the young people have the option to select whatever book they want, and we try to fill their request as best we can, and that every book sent to a young person is theirs to keep.