WKNC 88.1 FM recently partnered with Prison Books Collective to host a book drive. From March 15 to March 26 individuals could drop off books in labeled bins outside of WKNC’s studios on the NC State University campus.
Thanks to WKNC’s audience, the drive was able to collect 125 books for Prison Books Collective, a Carrboro-based nonprofit that distributes paperback books and zines to incarcerated people across North Carolina and Alabama.
The collected books spanned a wide range of genres including Black history, biographies, self-help guides, legal texts, language dictionaries, and a multitude of science fiction of fantasy novels. More information on how Prison Books Collective serves incarcerated individuals, with the aid of community donations, can be found at PrisonBooks.info.
WKNC has its own relationship with the North Carolina prison system, as inmates across the state tune in every Friday night to listen to Penitentiary Rock. This segment broadcasts song requests mailed in from inmates to the show’s host, Uncle Paul. Uncle Paul not only plays the requests but reads inmate letters on-air, which has helped the development of the show’s popularity amongst inmates, who even use the show as a means to communicate with one another via shout-outs in their letters. Thus, a partnership between WKNC and Prison Books Collective seemed natural. WKNC is grateful to be able to give back to a community so often overlooked by mainstream media and one that has supported WKNC for decades.
Within the pandemic in particular, these individuals have had little-to-no access to visitors and have faced increased restrictions placed on the small amount of literature that may be available in the prison. Ivy Shelton, Prison Books Collective’s Outreach Coordinator, commented that, “COVID-19 has limited the operations but, Prison Books Collective (PBC) has been working hard the past year to fulfill book requests. PBC has continued to send 35-45 packages of books on average a week to individuals based on letters of request. The book drive WKNC 88.1 is hosting makes PBC’s continued work possible. Paperback donations from the WKNC 88.1 book drive will make a difference in someone’s life.”
WKNC would like to thank the audience for their continued support, both for the station and the recent donation drives.
WKNC 88.1 FM is 25,000-watt student-run non-commercial radio from North Carolina State University featuring indie rock, electronic, metal and underground hip-hop. WKNC is on social media @WKNC881.