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" Lending Is The New Spending "

Guelph Tool Library

We are located at:
Old Quebec Street Shoppes
55 Wyndham Street North, Unit T8, Guelph, ON, N1H 7T8

Tel: (519) 836-7909

1378 - 3/4/2024 8:31:12 AM  

Free to Read Book Sale - April 20
The sale is in support of the Books for Inmates Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sunday March 3, 2024

The Guelph Tool Library is hosting the Free to Read Book Sale on Saturday April 20, 2024 from 10 am until 2 pm.  

In celebration of World Book Day, the Free to Read Book Sale is taking place in the main concourse of the Old Quebec Street Shoppes and will feature over 5000 books for sale! Donations of books can be dropped off at the Guelph Tool Library starting Friday March 1 until Monday April 15, 2024.  

The Guelph Tool Library hopes to collect and sell 5000 books through donations from the public and book drives by community partners.  The sale is in support of the Books for Inmates Program, a program that supports literacy programs in correctional facilities across Southwestern Ontario.  One of the challenges for the Books for Inmates Program is to acquire the necessary books for literacy programs. Desired books, such as technical books and books in other languages, are typically not donated. The book sale hopes to sell those books that are frequently donated, such as best sellers and detective stories, and use the proceeds to purchase the desired books.

The Guelph Tool Library is partnering with a number of groups in Guelph to collect books and support the program.  

Donations boxes are set up at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and All Saints Lutheran Anglican Church.  There are also two schools, Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School, doing book drives with their students leading the efforts.

"We hope that readers who have enjoyed their reading material will look to share the joy and wonder of reading with those housed in correctional facilities", said Free to Read Coordinator, John Dennis. "A primary driver of the Guelph Tool Library is to find underutilized resources and share them with the community. Collecting books and distributing them to literacy programs in local jails is just another example of this work."

Wilma Alexander has been collecting donated books for inmates of Ontario prisons since 1995 through her Books for Inmates Program.  As a retired teacher,  Wilma recognized the importance of literary and the need for books in these institutional settings.  To date she has delivered more than 35,000 books to seven southern Ontario institutions in Toronto, Milton, London, Hamilton and Penetanguishene.

Wilma stated that "the Books for Inmates program looks for thrillers, books in other languages, and popular reading, but also tries to supply the huge demand for educational material, self-help, biography, science, history, and especially dictionaries!  The underlying aim of her project is to redirect surplus and underused material to people who need and value it, thereby providing benefit to both the donors and the recipients of the books."

The collection drive launches Friday, March 1st. Anyone wishing to donate gently used books can drop them off at one of several locations throughout the city. These locations include:

The Guelph Tool Library (55 Wyndham St N, Unit T8)
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore (104 Dawson Rd)
All Saints Lutheran Anglican Church (210 Silvercreek Pkwy N, Guelph) 

The program organizers ask that any books be in gently used, readable condition, with no missing pages. 

The collection drive will run from March 1st to April 15th, culminating in a giant used book sale on Saturday, April 20th in the Old Quebec Street Shoppes in Downtown Guelph. Reading materials that are not suitable for the Books For Inmates program will be sold at the sale. Funds raised will help support the purchase of the most needed items by the Books for Inmates Program. 


The Guelph Tool Library is a lending library of tools. With an annual membership of $60/year have access to a wide variety of tools for renovation, gardening, hobbies and crafts and much more!

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