Help me find a home for some great books for kids!
June 1, 2009 6:10 PM   Subscribe

Where can I donate NEW books for children and teens?

I'd like to donate some NEW children's and young adult books to an organization, group, nonprofit, etc. I've been googling and have found some ideas, but I'd rather have some personal input from someone who is familiar with the group that will be receiving the books. I'm willing to ship anywhere in the US and I may be able to make a book donation about four times a year. Please help me find a worthy organization that will accept and, more importantly, get a lot of use out of some great books for kids!
posted by bookmammal to Grab Bag (11 answers total)
I would send it to a school library. (Ok, I guess I'm biased).

Many schools are cutting the budget for school libraries to 0 and as you can imagine it is very challenging to get kids interested in books that are old, outdated, or just not that exciting.

I would suggest looking at Teach for America in your area. They can give an idea of what schools they work with (they will all be very low-income) and pass on books to needy kids and teachers. Most likely you will also get some lovely thank you notes from the kids involved, too. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't let you drop them off yourself if you wanted!
posted by aetg at 6:29 PM on June 1, 2009

Any library, school or public, would love to have those books. Once they're put into circulation, hundreds of kids can get the benefit of every book.
posted by Hargrimm at 6:51 PM on June 1, 2009

I love the above suggestions.

You could also consider a local Ronald McDonald House if a nearby hospital has one. Like libraries, it would keep the books circulating to many children and it's a wonderful cause to direct your support and show a caring outlook.
posted by davidnc at 7:06 PM on June 1, 2009

Our local library takes donated books and has book sales every so often to generate needed income. Even magazines, DVDs and tapes.

You might also try a hospital. They used to have a person go around room to room with a cart and loan them out to patients.
posted by Taurid at 7:32 PM on June 1, 2009

Your local children's hospitals. In my area (Dallas), Children's Medical Center has a game room on each floor. Volunteers and parents play connect4, legos, etc with the pediatric patients. I bet those kids would love to be read a story. Kudos to you for your generosity!
posted by DB Cooper at 7:33 PM on June 1, 2009

If you have Spanish language books, I can personally vouch for the good work that Books for a Better World does bringing books to schools in Central America. Before BBW came to some of these schools, the only books the kids had ever had a chance to read were textbooks. My girlfriend volunteers for them (and her mother is on the board) every year, making the trek out to some pretty remote schools to bring them their books. This year, she'll be heading to Guatemala and Honduras for the first time.
posted by ErWenn at 9:29 PM on June 1, 2009

If you've got an open mind (and open heart!), there's a number of juvenile detention facilities that could use children's and YA books. This blog post is one of the best I could find in a hurry describing the dire need that this population has for books.

If you're looking for a specific group to donate to, beyond the general categories, one that I have specific knowledge of (but am not involved with) is Beyond 4 Walls, which works to get books to those at Nidorf Juvenile Detention Facility in Sylmar, California. I would be happy to put you contact with the library people in charge of this.
posted by librarylis at 9:37 PM on June 1, 2009

At the state library, we often get donations of new books. We have a running list of schools that need supplies and, if no immediate need is apparent, we put out a bulletin to school librarians about the books. No books have ever gone unclaimed. I bet your state library has a similar system.
posted by Foam Pants at 10:01 PM on June 1, 2009

If you're interested in seeing your books go global, you might consider World Vision International (full disclosure: I work for them).
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:55 AM on June 2, 2009

Your best bet would be to your school library or public library. Lots of kids use the library. PLus if they are new books that would be some books that they wouldnt have to buy. Remember your libraries are funded with tax payer money and that would help in the long run.

Even if you dont want to donate it too a library the childrens department of your library can help you find a good place to donate them too.
posted by majortom1981 at 5:21 AM on June 2, 2009

Gift your local library, and ask the librarians if there are kids in your area that need books. .
posted by theora55 at 9:35 AM on June 2, 2009

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