How to Donate Books to a Library

by Culture & Society Editor
Donating to a library benefits society as well as your bank account.

Donating to a library benefits society as well as your bank account.

Donating books to a library is a worthwhile cause. Unfortunately, most libraries can't keep all of the books that they receive by donation. Many libraries have collection policies in place that set guidelines for what they can and cannot accept. However, most librarians know of some organizations that would be glad to receive your donated books.

Contact the library you would like to donate the books to. Ask if it has guidelines for donating books. Most libraries do. You can often find these guidelines online.

Check to see if your books meet guidelines. Generally speaking, the books you donate should be less than 10 years old, be in good condition with no missing pages and have content of relevance to the library collection.

Consider donating a book in memory of a lost loved one or to honor a family member's achievement. Many libraries accept this type of donation and are happy to work with you to create a commemorative bookplate. Some libraries keep books that you purchase for this purpose as well.

Donate audio and visual materials the same way as books. Most libraries have guidelines for accepting these donations as well.

Ask if the library keeps a wish list of books. Your books may not be on the list, but if you still want to donate books to a library this is another option. Ask the librarian if you would need to purchase the books to donate, or just donate money for the purchase.

Tip

  • If you plan to take a tax deduction for your book donation, ask the librarian for a receipt.

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