Book Donations

Collecting books is a fun way to support Books for Kids and engage your family, friends, community or office. Consider asking for book or monetary donations at your next:

• Birthday Party
• Holiday Party
• Family Reunion
• Anniversary Party
• Baby Shower
• Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah

If you are interested in donating books to help support the children in our libraries, contact Samantha at the Books for Kids office before arranging any kind of collection or book drive. You can reach her at 212-760-2665 or ssalloway@booksforkids.org. Due to space constraints, we ask kindly that you DO NOT send any books to the Books for Kids office without contacting us first.

Although Books for Kids loves to provide the books you collect to the children we serve, we have strict guidelines regarding the books we can accept.

Books must be BRAND NEW and APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN AGES 0-6.

Books must be logged with titles and values using a form we will provide to you.
Books for Kids cannot pick up or cover shipping costs, so you must be able to ship or drop off the books at a location we give you.
Books for Kids is a 501C3 nonprofit and all gifts are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

 

BOOK DONATION FAQ

Can I donate books to Books for Kids?

Of course! Thank you for your support. Just take a look at the guidelines above, and make sure to reach out to the Books for Kids office before beginning any kind of collection.

Where will my books go?

To kids and families who will love them and hopefully read them again and again! Books given in-kind from our donors support our mission in a variety of ways. They are sometimes sent to schools where we don’t have active programming for teachers to give out to their students. Sometimes they’re given to our Library Specialists so they can be given away to children and their caregivers at community events. Generally, books given in-kind do not go into our circulating library collection. Those books have to be specially processed with book jackets and colored dots. But there’s no shortage of ways your books can make a difference in a child’s life, and we’re thankful to you for making a difference!

But where do I send them or drop them off specifically?

We build our libraries inside of preschools, Head Starts, and other early-childhood centers across the country, so it’s hard to say which library will need books at the time of your donation and be the right fit for the books you’ve collected. When you contact the BFK office to arrange your donation, we’ll work with you to make sure they go to a school that’s located within a comfortable distance for you to ship or drop off the books you’ve collected. As mentioned above, Books for Kids cannot fund shipping costs.

I collected books already but I didn’t contact you first! What do I do? Do you still want them?

Give the BFK office a call at 212.760.2665 and we’ll do our best to find them a good home. As long as they follow our guidelines and we can accommodate the quantity, we’ll be grateful to receive your donation

Your guidelines say donated books have to be brand new. What if mine are gently used or in like-new condition?

Sorry, we won’t take them.

Really?

Really Really.

But why? 

We’re glad you asked. Used books are amazing. Buying used is a low-cost and environmentally-friendly way for the most voracious readers to indulge their habits. So why don’t we accept used books?

  1. We primarily serve preschoolers, so we are particularly wary about spreading germs to our little ones. Have you ever seen a two-year-old stick a board book cover in their mouth? It happens.
  2. The children we serve in our libraries come from under-resourced communities. We provide new books to these children who, for many, may receive brand new books very infrequently. This also allows them to have the latest books with their favorite characters (like Pete the Cat!), because income should never be a barrier that keeps children from being able to read the most recent installment in a beloved series. There is so much that is new and exciting each year in children’s literature, and kids should never be priced-out of receiving the newest and most worthwhile children’s books.
  3. Books for Kids is a small team. One person’s “gently used” might be another person’s “very used.” And, unfortunately, we don’t have the time or resources to evaluate the quality of every book that is donated. Perhaps your “barely used” book is in such wonderful condition that no one would know the difference, but when it’s sent to a library there is often no way for us to know for sure that the book meets our quality standards. Specifying that books must be new cuts down on the work the recipients of our books have to do. We rely on our school contacts to confirm the condition of donated books when they are received, and we try not to put more work on our teacher’s shoulders when they work so hard already.
  4. (Big city specific) Bed bugs.

Ok, so if I can’t send Books for Kids my used books, where can I send them?

Give Samantha a call at 212.760.2665 or reach out to her at ssalloway@booksforkids.org, and she’ll try to help you find an organization in your area that is both in need of books and accepts used books.

Do I also really have to log the titles and values of the books? 

We highly prefer you do. This enables us to know exactly how many books you are giving as well as the titles. Every school has unique needs so, for example, if we see that your donation is primarily bilingual books in Spanish and English, we’ll know exactly which schools would benefit from that kind of donation. Having donors record the values of the books also helps us record the value of the in-kind donation for accounting purposes. Also, if you don’t value your books, we can’t give you that value with your tax-acknowledgment letter which could become a hassle for you at tax time if you plan to record your donation that year. 

After reading over your guidelines and looking through the FAQ, it looks like doing a book donation isn’t right for me. But I still want to help children receive books. How else can I help?

We’re so grateful for your care and your support! If you would like to make a monetary donation restricted to books, please contact Samantha at 212.760.2665 or reach out to her at ssalloway@booksforkids.org. Making a donation restricted to books means that we will use your donation specifically to purchase books for our kids. There are added benefits to supporting us in this way:

  1. Your money goes further. For what you would spend on a new book at Barnes and Noble, we can purchase three or more books through our special partnerships with book vendors.
  2. Your gift could be used to purchase books for the libraries. Books given in-kind can’t go into our circulating collections because those books need to be library processed. Your monetary gift can help us get new books into our libraries in the condition required for lending.
  3. We know the unique needs of each school. That means we can make sure more braille books are sent where we have blind students or ensure Mandarin books are sent where there are many Mandarin-speaking families. We’re in constant contact with our teachers and Library Specialists who help guide our book purchases.

I have more questions about donating books that weren’t answered here.

No worries! Give Samantha a call at 212.760.2665 or reach out to her at ssalloway@booksforkids.org.