Library Service on Rikers Island

Library service takes place in Rikers Island, including service to a veterans’ unit. Patrons may borrow books from the collection, which is selected by a correctional librarian based on patrons’ interests.

This vital service provides individuals who would otherwise have limited access to reading materials with a wide range of books, magazines, and manuals.

Queens Public Library also answers reference questions and provides referrals to library services and other nonprofits.

If you are interested in donating to our book collection at Rikers Island, we are happy to accept your new or gently used books that meet certain criteria.

Donation Guidelines

Unfortunately, because of space limitations, we are seeking only paperback books that fall into the following categories:

  • Urban Fiction (examples: K’wan, Nikki Turner, Nisa Santiago, Ashley Antoinette, Sister Souljah, Iceberg Slim, Donald Goines, Teri Woods, Kiki Swinson, Zane)
  • Books by the following authors: James Patterson, Lee Child, Vince Flynn, Stephen King, Walter Mosley, Eric Jerome Dickey, Michael Connelly, Dan Brown, and David Baldacci
  • Graphic novels and manga aimed at adults and teenagers (examples: DC, Marvel, Naruto, Bleach)
  • Dictionaries and thesauruses, including specialized dictionaries (examples: law dictionaries, medical dictionaries)
  • Current High School Equivalency materials
  • Popular fiction, general interest non-fiction, graphic novels, and self-help books in Spanish
  • Books on Islam, especially those on the topics of the faith, history, and culture
  • Popular Fantasy and Science Fiction book series (examples: Harry Potter, The Maze Runner, Game of Thrones, books by Cassandra Clare, books by Sarah J. Maas)
  • Popular self-help books (examples: The Four Agreements, The Power of Now, books by TD Jakes)
  • Current and classic books on issues of race in America (examples: The New Jim Crow, The Fire Next Time, The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
  • Poetry
  • Music Business
  • Drawing Instruction

If you believe you have books suitable for our collection that you would like to donate, please email