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TOOELE, Utah (AP) — A nonprofit run by a Utah woman supplies books to men and women in 35 prisons in 13 states, sending thousands of donated books to help restock prison libraries that are often filled with decrepit texts.

The Deseret News reports Toby Lafferty started the Millcreek-based organization Books Inside in 2010. Last year, the self-funded organization mailed about 23,000 books to correctional facilities.

Lafferty says she became dedicated to the cause after visiting a Utah prison in 2008. She says she intended to donate seven books but began volunteering after meeting the state’s first full-time prison librarian Christie Jensen.

The pair worked to replace the prison’s library, and Lafferty moved on to aid other prisons.

Lafferty says she identifies prison in need of books through word of mouth and emails.


Information from: Deseret News,