Latest Updates

May 15, 2012:You can view pictures from our new facility at 900 Harris Street.

March 15, 2012: New radio segment on WTJU about Books Behind Bars.

Jan 15, 2012: We are now in a new location at 900 Harris Street. Books may be brought there. Please call ahead as someone is not always there. (434) 295-3377


Listen to a radio interview with Kay Allison about the Books Behind Bars program. The interview was conducted on on July 28, 2008 for Virginia Insights, WMRA Charlottesville. (50MB mp3 file)


We are now accepting donation of children’s books for the visiting room of the prisons.

Also, this website has a new section: Letters to the Quest Institute.

Book Donations

Book Donations may be brought to:

Quest Institute, Inc.
900 Harris Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Please call ahead:
(434) 295-3377

10-5:30 Mon-Sat
1-5 Sun

Frequently Requested Books

» Dictionary and Thesaurus

» Bible, Koran, spiritual material

» Small business start-up

» G.E.D. preparation

» Electrical, welding, plumbing, carpentry and other trade skills.

» Computer programming and web-design

» African-American authors

» Textbooks

» Medical / Health / Nutrition / Fitness

» Collegiate dictionaries

» Almanac

» Atlas

» Drawing

» Cookbooks

» Gardening

» Self-Help

» Music

» Native American

» Islam

» Sports

(Foreign language books are not permitted)

In the News

Help the Institute

The Quest Institute depends upon the interest and generosity of supporters to provide financial means to operate and carry out its mission.

All donations are tax-deductible. (Tax ID: 234234223342)

Welcome to the Quest Institute

The Quest Institute, Inc. is a private, non-profit, educational corporation established in 1984, incorporated and tax-exempt in 1987. It was founded with the following objectives:

1. To explore issues of human consciousness beyond the traditional limits of academic study.

2. To integrate science and spirituality in a comprehensive search for truth.

3. To stimulate spiritual and holistic human development.

4. To encourage exploration of the inner world.

5. To support interreligious dialogue as a means to global harmony and peace.

6. To facilitate the collection of funds and books in order to donate these to people in prison for their education and spiritual development.

The Quest Institute depends upon the interest and generosity of supporters to provide financial means to operate and to carry out the missions of the Institute.

Quest Institute, Inc.
Kay Allison
(434) 295-3377

 
Just in!!  a HUGE shipment of rocks, crystals, fossils and stones.  Lots of new stones are here!!  Come and see what we have !!!
 
Just as a teaser for Black Friday and Saturday,  come in this Friday or Saturday, and get a special limited offer.
 
Buy one item at regular price,  buy one book at 50% OFF.  (consignment books not included)
 
Treat yourself to a good book for the Holiday!!
 
Hope to see you soon!!
 
P.S.  Don't forget the Moldavite!!!

Books Behind Bars

The need for literature and educational material for people in prison was made known to Kay Allison about 20 years ago when she received many letters from prisoners, teachers, librarians, and counselors asking for help in obtaining books and dictionaries. This precipitated the collection of many books and funds in order to answer their needs.

As word about free books spread throughout the Virginia prison system, letters and requests increased greatly. Over one hundred letters each week are delivered to us with hopes of receiving free books. Thousands of books have been donated to the libraries and to individuals. Also received are many thank you cards and letters from the grateful men and women who are without books and funds to purchase them.

We appreciate the assistance from the many volunteers who bring books, sort them, read the letters and select books to send.

We are making a difference — one book at a time!

» View Letters from Prisoners «

Making a Difference - You Can Help

The success of Books Behind Bars depends on support from our community.

You may help the Institute by donating online via the button below, or mailing your contribution to the address listed.

Quest Institute, Inc.
619 W. Main Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903

All donations are tax-deductible.
(Tax ID: 234234223342)

Volunteers are also needed to:

» Donate gently used books

» Read letters by prisoners and match donated books with ones they have requested.

» Organize and shelve books in our library.

Many people in prison have little or no contact with family or friends. Becoming a pen pal would give support and encouragement to those who would welcome the opportunity to correspond with someone.

Please contact:
Quest Institute, Inc.
Kay Allison
(434) 295-3377