Want to help out or donate books? We’re at Freebird Bookstore during the following times:

* Mondays 7:30-9:30pm
* Sundays 5:00-8:00pm

* During winter 0ur space is not heated very well and we will be closed periodically – please check our Facebook or Twitter page for cancellation notices.*

We also have volunteer hours  on Thursdays from 7:30-9:30pm, but new volunteers should come on Mondays or Sundays, as those nights are when other members are available to help.

It’s greatly appreciated when volunteers can bring heavier paper bags – these are great resources to use for packaging books. Trader Joes and Whole Foods have good bags for this purpose.

We are grateful to Freebird for temporarily housing Books Through Bars while ABC No Rio moves towards the construction of a new facility. You can still reach us by voicemail or email through ABC No Rio.

Freebird is located at 123 Columbia Street between Kane and Degraw, in Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. From the Bergen F/G stop, or the Borough Hall 4/5 stop, walk along Court Street to Kane, then down Kane to Columbia. Or, take the B61 bus to Freebird’s front door.

Here is a map of the area.

Accessibility for People with Disabilities:

BTB NYC is based out of the basement of Freebird books. The basement area is generally inaccessible to most individuals with mobility-related disabilities, and/or individuals with chronic breathing or dust sensitivities.

As a collective, Books Through Bars NYC is committed to ensuring accessibility for volunteers with disabilities whenever possible. If you are interested in volunteering, please email btb@abcnorio.org so we can discuss accommodations that can be made. Also, please note: there are many ways to be involved with and support the work of BTB NYC for those who cannot attend packing sessions.

Other ways to help:


Since Freebird books is not walking distance from a post office, we are in need of people with access to vehicles to help us transport stamped packages on a one-time-only or regular basis.  If you can help in this way, it would be much appreciated. You can e-mail us at btb@abcnorio.org to find out more.


Want to maintain a Books Through Bars drop box at your student center, or collect books for BTB at your workplace? We are always short of certain categories of books. Get in touch with us (btb@abcnorio.org) to discuss a plan. Please note that we don’t have a vehicle to do pick ups, so planning a book drive or drop box will have to include ideas about how to bring books to Freebird either when we are working or when the store is open.


The main items we can always use more of are heavy paper bags  to package books (Trader Joes and Whole Foods have good bags for this purpose), rolls of thick brown paper from Staples, heavy-duty packaging tape, pens, and batteries. Stamps have been previously requested, but we now utilize APC (post office machine) or stamps.com bar-coded postage in media mail denominations, which helps to speed up getting books out to people who need them. With that in mind, any donations go straight into these costs.


There are other great ways to help get books to prisoners — help organize a fundraiser, help us sell books we cannot use, help us make photocopies of zines and popular articles, and more. Get in touch if you’re interested in getting involved, or just come to a packing session.

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