Sending Books to Needy Libraries: Book Donation Programs
ALA Library Fact Sheet 12
Please be aware that the American Library Association does not accept or distribute donations of books or any other materials. This page provides information on some of the groups and organizations that do handle book donations – including donations of used books.
There is also information below for libraries on organizations and companies that will accept discards from the collection.
A longer list, continuously updated by ALA Library staff, of the groups and organizations that handle book donations, for distribution within or outside the United States, appears at:
Do not hesitate to contact any of these groups directly to find out their needs and procedures, drop-off points and shipping addresses.
Groups and organizations are named for informational purposes only.
* If you actually need book donations, you may be eligible to apply for donations from the groups named. Contact the groups directly for application information and eligibility criteria.
A personal plea from a librarian – ASK before you donate stuff to your library. If they’ve posted their collection development policy somewhere, SKIM IT before bringing your boxes of books to the library.
Chances are that if the books you are giving away aren’t worth it to you anymore, they probably won’t be worth it to the library either. There are exceptions but if you can’t think of a reason why a book might be special to your community, reconsider donating it to the library. Some libraries have used books sales programs. Others might be forbidden to have them.
Finally, libraries only have so much shelf space. Accept that your book donation may be passed on or thrown away. Don’t donate a book with high sentimental value to you to a library. Find a friend who might find it it inspiring, interesting or useful.