Be Thoughtful-Tips on Donating Used Books
If you are interested in donating books to countries overseas, there are several organizations that distribute books to other countries. Many of these organizations distribute books overseas at no cost to the donating person or library other than shipping costs to the U.S. facility.
Be aware however, that most organizations only accept new books or books in good condition-these are not places to "book dump" unwanted literature. Books that are outdated, damaged, and worthless are going to be just as useless abroad. Make sure that the information is going to be useful to the schools or people receiving them and that the information is in a language that they can read and understand. Finally, the materials must be culturally appropriate for the audience that is going to receive them.
What follows is a list of organizations that distribute books to other countries. It is important to contact these groups beforehand, to find out what kind of books they need and are hoping to receive for distribution. General book donation organizations are listed first, followed by regional book donation organizations.
For information on how to donate books within the United States, please visit the Book Donation site.
General Book Donation Organizations
Brother's Brother Foundation
1200 Galveston Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1604
Phone: 1-888-232-1916 or 412-321-3160
Web Site: http://www.brothersbrother.org/
Regional Book Donation Organizations
Bookfriends International, NFP (AFRICA)
1000 Rand Road #206
Wauconda, IL 60084
USA Toll Free (877) 726-8777
Office (847) 726-8776
Fax (847) 726-8775
Web site: http://bookfriends.org/
The Asia Foundation
Books for Asia Program
80 Elmira Street
San Francisco, CA 94124
E-mail: Gavin Tritt at firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://www.asiafoundation.org/Books/overview.html
The African Library Project
P.O. Box 2162
Berkeley, CA 94702
REFORMA Children in Crisis Project
Web site: http://refugeechildren.wix.com/refugee-children
For a list of additional organizations, see:
- Donation Programs For Books, Journals and Media, a list compiled by the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Health Sciences Library, at: http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/units/hsl/donationprograms.html
- List compiled by the African Studies Association (ASA) http://www.albany.edu/~dlafonde/Global/bookdonation.htm
An alternative use for your old books would be to sell them and donate the money to a program that purchases new books for schools and libraries in developing countries.