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Our Story

An All Volunteer Run Nonprofit

Most public libraries have Friends groups that support them by raising money for programs, projects, and the extra monetary needs of the library beyond their budgets. Prison libraries are not as fortunate, yet the need is great. Due to a lack of funds for prison libraries, current books, highly sought after titles, and other resources are not always available.

The Friends of the San Quentin Prison Library work to support and supplement the needs of the library to better serve their patrons. Through community fundraising and collaborations with bookstores and vendors, we work to fill the shelves with current resources. If other needs arise, we work with the community to fill those needs.

Our long term goal is to use the centrality and name recognition of San Quentin to support other California state prison libraries with their needs as well.

We are a fiscally sponsored project of Social Good Fund, a California nonprofit corporation and registered 501(c)(3) organization, Tax ID (EIN) 46-1323531.

bookfair group.jpg

Pictures from our first Kids Book Fair for Incarcerated Parents held in December 2022.

Who picks the books on your wish lists? The book wish lists are maintained by the San Quentin librarians based on the suggestion box at the San Quentin Library and the needs and requests of San Quentin patrons.


Can I donate books? Yes! Our preference is for specific new books that are needed for the collection but we do accept donations on a case-by-case basis. In-demand materials include: · Fiction: Recently published and/or popular fantasy, African-American literature, mystery thriller, graphic novels, manga, and sci-fi. In-demand authors include James Patterson, Lee Child, Wahida Clark, Jim Butcher, Eric Jerome Dickey, K’wan, and Terry Goodkind, Cassandra Clare, Pierce Brown, Steven Erikson, Ian Esslemont, and David Baldacci. · Non-Fiction: Recently published self-help—specially titles on anger management, impulse control, spousal relations, recovery, coping with depression/anxiety, leadership, and employment. Recently published DIY guides on vocational training (e.g. welding, electrician, plumbing, auto-repair) · Audiobooks on Compact Disc and Spanish Language titles. Here is what we can’t take: · Deteriorating and/or damaged books. · Books that have been written in. · Out-of-date non-fiction books (e.g. medical guides) · Social science titles that were published before 2015. If you think your books fit these guidelines, please contact San Quentin Library staff at Thanks for your interest in the Friends of the San Quentin Library and your offer to donate books.

What is the Friends of the San Quentin Prison Library's Tax ID? We are a fiscally sponsored project of Social Good Fund, a California nonprofit corporation and registered 501(c)(3) organization, Tax ID (EIN) 46-1323531.

How much of my donation will go towards services? We are an all-volunteer organization. None of your contribution will go to staff salaries, instead it all goes towards resources for the San Quentin Library. (A small percentage of each donation goes towards Social Good Fund’s fiscal sponsorship fees.)

How can I donate? Where can I send a check? You can donate by going to our Flipcause account through the DONATE button on our website. Or you can send a check to: Social Good Fund P.O. Box 5473 Richmond, CA 94805 Please write "For Friends of the San Quentin Library on the memo line. Thanks for your support!

Can I volunteer? How can I help? We want to have more folks involved with the project, but are still working out how to do this. Please reach out to us via email ( with your ideas and thoughts! Some of the best ways you can help us right now : 1)Follow & Like us on social media. 2)Tell your networks about us. 3) Buy books for the library collection. 4) Support our bi-annnual Kids Book Drive. 5) Donate!

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