Back in 1971, a group of students organized an effort to collect books. And on this day in 1971, students at NC State donated over 3,000 textbooks and novels to Central Prison in Raleigh to help fill a new library at the prison. Their hope was that the books would help inmates, who were working with tutors from St. Augustine’s College, study for high school equivalency exams, according to a story in the Technician.
“They’ve done the hard work,” NC State student Bob Walker said of his counterparts at St. Augustine’s. “We’ve been sort of a helping hand.”
Prison officials said at the time that they planned to house the books in a new browsing room being set up for inmates. A previous browsing room had been destroyed during a riot several years earlier.
George Randall, deputy commissioner of corrections, told the Technician that the books would be a welcome addition to the prison. He said they would lift the morale of inmates and prison staff. He said they would even help decrease the state’s crime rate.