Where to Donate Books & Magazines
Berkeley Parents Network >
Charity, Donations & Recycling >
Where to Donate Books & Magazines
My father is a retired professor in Connecticut. Now in his
80's, he has a large library of academic highly specialized
physics and science books and journals that he really wants
to see go to a good home. But who wants this stuff? The
University he worked at does not. These are older books, and
likely out-of-date journals. And my sense is he will only
let go if they are indeed going to a good home. What to do?
Any good websites that help with this sort of thing? If
anyone has ideas, I'd love to hear it.
artsy daughter of a brilliant semi-pack rat
I work in a university library and can tell you that you
will have a hard time with this. You can take a look here,
but in general, out of date stuff is recycled. Also, most
university science libraries are purchasing online, not
print, versions of journals (and books too). A more
meaningful gesture might be a donation of cash to a library
esp. one that is especially hurting financially. Of course,
if any of the books are ''classics'' they may be more
donate-able. If you live near a university, see if someone
in the physics or science library has additional info. Some
libraries have bookstores where they sell donated stuff to
raise a little cash. Good luck!
Library of a community college ?
Grad students at Cal ?
I dropped off similar types of books at the El Cerrito
recycling center book exchange at the end of Schmidt Lane.When
I went there the following day to drop off more books they
were gone. I always see people waiting to see what gets
dropped off and it seems like an intellectual group . You can
also donate books to any of the local libraries which sell
them for around a dollar each. This raises money for the
library and someone will want his books.
When my Math Professor Dad was moving out of his home, I had a similar
dilemma. There was a academic used book store in the college town
where he lived and I took some of his books there. Turns out that one of
his former students found them and was ecstatic to have my Dad's books
- especially the ones with notes scribbled in them. Maybe there is an
Alumni newsletter you could announce the book give-away in, or perhaps
the Physics Dept has a Facebook page or could send out an email. I'm
sure you'd make some of his old students happy to have their professor's
Check out a great organization called ''Books for Africa''.
They send many many volumes of books every year to many
countries in Africa. Books like physics are exactly what
they want - they do not become outdated and are not
ethnocentric to our culture. You send the books to
Philadelphia, that is their clearinghouse, but if you send
the US Post office book rate, it does not cost so much. It
is a worthwhile cause.
donor to Books for Africa
Where can I donate text books and other books that I want to get
rid of? The text books are ones for getting a teaching credential;
assessing reading, language. Thanks!!
downsizing in Lafayette
I found two places that accepted most of the textbooks I was
trying to unload.
Better World Books:
Books for Barrios (they have a drop off center near Concord's
You can donate your books (and CDs and DVDs, for that matter) to
the College Prep School annual book fair, which will be held
March 7 and 8. The high school is in Oakland, near Lake Temescal,
at 6100 Broadway, and the donation bins are under the gym balcony
at the top left of the parking lot. I'm the book fair co-chair,
and if you can't make it to the school, I might be able to come
pick up the books, depending on where you are. We're taking
donations from now until the fair starts. And if you're feeling
bad about giving up your books, come to the fair and buy more!
They're all great donations from an erudite community, and
they're really cheap. The money goes to a good cause, too.
I am wondering if anyone knows anywhere where I can donate old
textbooks too? I went to nursing school a few years back and have
old textbooks on various areas of nursing, anatomy, and
Moe's on College. They send them to prisons. Just bring them
in a sturdy box and put them in their metal shed under the
stairs in the front room to the left of the entrance. They will
not accept more than will fit, so maybe give a call (510)
849-2087 and ask someone to physically check for you. Esp. if
you have a lot and it would be a challenge to not unload when
I have decided it is time to get rid of my old college / grad
school textbooks. I have probably 3-4 boxes of
science/math/engineering books that were used 10 years ago. I
doubt that donation places (like goodwill) would want such
technical textbooks. I don't think I could sell them on ebay due
to their age. I would like to avoid just putting them in the
recycling bin...any ideas of where I might donate the books?
Check out Books for the Barrios to donate old textbooks. It is a great organization and easy
to donate. Here's the link: http://www.booksforthebarrios.com/
I donate mine to public libraries
I came across a blurb in the latest O Magazine about places to pass on your used textbooks:
International Book Project
The organization collects an extensive array of basic subject textbooks for pre-kindergarten
through graduate school levels, general library books, nursing and other specialized medical
texts, as well as popular and technical journals, reference materials, and fiction. The
organization's partners include primary and secondary schools, universities, libraries,
hospitals, churches, orphanages, and Peace Corps volunteers around the world.
Books for Soldiers
At this site, soliders, sailors, and merchant marines make requests in an online forum; you
send books directly to the soliders. It's kind of like a book ebay site.
Hope your books find a good home
I'm finally parting with a bunch of textbooks that I've had
since grad school--not sure why I've kept them this long
except for sentimental reasons. It doesn't seem that a
library would be interested in a donation of textbooks. Is
there any organization that would accept/benefit from them?
These are business school textbooks covering the usual
topics: finance, accounting, marketing, economics, etc.
You can donate them to the ''friends of the library'' association
of your local branch. They won't put them on the shelves, but
they will sell them at their booksales and the money does benefit
Just a note regarding used textbooks. Someone
recommended Friends of the Library taking them and using
them at their sales. I am not sure where you live, but in
Contra Costa County, Friends of the Library does not even
want them. They specifically note that on their donation bins.
It's tough to find someone who will take them. You might try
Books for Barrios -- don't have the #, but I think that they will
take them. Sorry I can't help more!
Donating Childrens' Books
I'm a parent at a Berkeley public school and am looking for ideas on a great system to
get free (used) books into the hands of every student, but especially those who do not
have access to books at home. We currently have a ''Give a Book, Take a Book'' shelf
that is in a hallway, but it empties out quickly when we get donations. We'd like to
have a system where the community can donate their used books, and students can access
them, periodically or on an ongoing basis. But a ''book for a book'' exchange system
won't work, because the kids who NEED books can't bring one in to exchange... Please
share book-sharing/distribution ideas that have worked at your schools! Thanks.
Contact the East Bay Children's Book Project
They are also a great place to donate books.
My parents saved ALL my books from my childhood (and many
from their own). I have gone through the whole collection
and taken what I want for my own children, and have a large
box of leftovers falling into 3 catagories:
1. Books that others could definitely use: These are in good
used condition, or in a couple cases brand new (duplicates).
2. Books that need to be disposed of: I am ashamed to say
that I have some books that are would now be considered
racist or sexist. What exactly can be done with them though?
Should I just put them in the trash?
3. Vintage books that might be worth something: How does one
go about finding the value of an older children's book?
You can donate your books, or you can sell them. Donation
spots include Children's Hospital (since you said they were
kid books) and various local shelters, but the public
library also often takes donations. If you're going to sell
them, I'd suggest going down to Moe's on Telegraph as a
Don't be ashamed of having books that aren't PC anymore! A
lot of those older books, like the older Disney cartoons
with Mickey Mouse, are still a lot of fun (and often valuable).
There will be a large used book Fair at the College Preparatory School in
Oakland on March 6-7, from 10-4 on Saturday and 10-1 on Sunday. We accept
donations of all sorts of books, and donations are tax-deductible. The proceeds
of the sale primarily support our scholarship fund, and any books that we don't
sell are donated right after the fair to local charities that can use them.
Donations can be dropped off at the school, 6100 Broadway, Oakland, or we
may be able to make other arrangements if that's not convenient.
My son's school, Cleveland Elementary, is accepting
donations of gently used books for a book sale and would
happily take some of your books. We are near Lake Merritt
in Oakland at 745 Cleveland St.
1. You can donate books to the public library's bookstore (The Friends
Bookstore)...it's over near UC Berkeley, off Telegraph. They take everything,
resell the books at very low prices.
2. Outdated, sexist books--recycle with your paper recycling
3. Vintage books--try reselling at Pendragon or Pegasus. You can check value
online at eBay or other online booksellers.
The books that are in good condition can always be donated to
your local library. Other books that are not can be dropped
off at the El Cerrito Recycling Center at the end of Schmidt
Lane where there are bookcases set up for a free book
exchange. Volunteers seem to go through periodically and
purge some for recycling.
Also, there is a storefront on San Pablo Ave. between Moeser
Ln. and Waldo St. in El Cerrito called FreeBookExchange. They
are open only on Sat and Sun and you can drop off and pick up
books there at no cost. They have a website.
1) Use Freecycle.org to give away books. Take them to the
El Cerrito recycling center book exchange. Take them to
the book exchange on San Pablo just south of Moeser Ln.
2) Recycle those books in the paper bin.
I love https://secure.paperbackswap.com it is a great way to keep all books in
1. library booksale (in Oakland: drop off at Dimond Branch
2. paper recycle bin
3. www.bookfinder.com (then, if any of yours are selling for
$$$ on bookfinder, call around to bay area book dealers to
see who will sell them for you) (or give valuable ones to
the Friends of the Oakland Library bookstore
http://www.fopl.org/ click on Bookmark Bookstore)
For your ''books that others could use,'' please consider
donating them to the Friends of the Library. They will
re-sell them, others get to enjoy them at bargain prices,
all profits benefit the library, and you can write off the
donation if you like.
Wait! Before you recycle the ''sexist, racist outdated''
books, consider donating them to the The East Bay Depot for
Creative Reuse http://www.creativereuse.org/
Many artists might really appreciate them in order to do
pieces on commentary of how things have changed (or haven't).
Sometimes the artwork is still worthwhile even if the
message isn't - there are a LOT of fans of old style
illustrations and the unsung illustrators who did the work
(evidence on Flickr
Or simply place an ad on Craigslist offering them for free.
Hope it's not too late!
LOVE Retro Books!
You can also check in with your local public school
library, and ask them if they know of librarians in other
schools that may not be as fortunate. The schools in some
neighborhoods are happy to give books to their students,
who may not have access to books at home. THey probably
would not be interested in the old, racist-type books, but
any others that are still good for kids would be
appreciated. Ask your school librarian or principal for a
good suggestion. I just dropped off a couple boxes of good
books at a school off Hegenberger in Oakland, and the
librarian, principal and parent coordinator (who reads
with the kids) were all very excited and gracious about
it, which was rewarding to me as I knew the books were
going to a good place and woudl be appreciated by the kids.
I'd also second the Friends of the Library suggestions if
a school (or book sale) doesn't work out. But I will say
it was more rewarding to know that my books were more of a
Another option for your books is The Bay Area Free Book
Exchange located at 10520 San Pablo Avenue. They accept
and GIVE AWAY books for free. It's not necessary to donate
books in order to take books.
The Exchange is open on weekends, I think from 9:00-6:00.
Hello - I am looking for places to donate children's books that my son
no longer uses - He is currently in Kindergarten. If you know of a
place where they collect children's books and then distribute them to
those in need, please let me know. Thanks!
Want to help children in need of books
The pediatrics department at both Kaiser Richmond and Kaiser Pinole
would love to have your books for the waiting rooms (and kids are
allowed to take one home if they want). Call them for info on drop
--love to share books
Consider your local public school (pre-school or elementary)for
gently used children's books. School libraries sometimes can use
donated books to augment the collection and/or use donations for
fundraisers or sometimes have a ''take one, leave one'' shelf for
families (with the leave one not a requirement to take). Classroom
teachers also LOVE to have gently used books for their classroom
reading nooks/shelves (for kids who have finished their work early,
for self-directed reading, or group story time, etc). Also
sometimes teachers give out ''like new'' books as a reward for
behavior achievements (perfect attendance, always raised hand, 100%
homework completion, etc.).
The East Bay Children's Book Project is a fantastic organization
that gives books to children in need to increase literacy rates.
They are located near Grand/Lake:
Donate them to your son's teacher, or to the local library for a
book sale. The Albany library always takes book donations.
The East Bay Children's Book Project located at 2008 Park Blvd.
in Oakland takes new and gently used children's books and gives them
to any professional who works with children in need. The donated
books are given to teachers, social workers and pediatricians. Check
out the website for more information http://www.ebcbp.org/ Ann
1. Children's Hospital Oakland has a book cart for kids. If a
child likes a particular book, they are welcome to take it home.
2. Ursula Sherman Village (aka Harrison House), on Harrison Street
in Berkeley (just north of Gilman) has programs for homeless
families - both long-term transitional housing and short-term
emergency housing. They have many young children, and would
probably love to receive donations of children's books. For more
East Bay Children's Book Project:
Great program that we make use of in the low-income clinic where I
work. Books go to clinics, schools, and other organizations that
serve poor kids. Last I checked they had a donation bag at Piedmont
Grocery on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland.
Have the perfect place for you!
This is a GREAT organization!!
I work in a pediatric clinic and we collect books for our waiting
and exam rooms from here. If you happen to live in San Leandro and
don't want to travel too far, we would also love to take any
donations! Would save me a trip to the Children's Book Project!
Bancroft Pediatric Medical Group
My kids' elementary school in Moraga often donates books and
organizes working field trips to the Books for the Barrios
organization. I believe most of their work is with the poor in the
Philippines. It seems like a great organization:
A great place to donate children's books is The Children's Book Project
www.childrensbookproject.org I'm not sure if they currently have a drop-off site in
the East Bay, but you can find out by calling 415 401 6315. It may even be possible
to arrange for pick up.
Thank you so much to everyone wh0 contacted me and donated items to
Books for the Barrios - I was overwhelmed by the response! And if I
didn't connect with you I'm very sorry, I received so many emails I
had trouble keeping track!
If anyone is interested in donating the following items to Books for
the Barrios, check out their website for information, they are located
in Concord: http://www.booksforthebarrios.com/F2nd_Y.html
* Games and Puzzles
* Toys, Stuffed Animals and Tennis Balls
* Athletic Equipment
* Crayons, Pencils and Scissors
* Clean Scrap Paper
* Children's Storybooks
* National Geographic Magazines
* Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
* Computers (Pentium III, or IV in working condition only)
* Monitors ($20 Donation Fee)
* Little Girls Dresses
thanks to all!
Is there a place I can drop my already-read, fairly current
magazines for others to take? I've always brought our
magazines to the North Berkeley library's magazine exchange,
but now that they are closed for renovation, our magazines
are piling up! I know they can be recycled, but I'd rather
give them away if possible.
I do the same thing... I also collect from my dad's
magazine subscriptions and my neighbors subscriptions and
once every couple of weeks, I rotate taking them to the VA
(in Martinez and in SF), Kaiser hospital, and about 3
nursing homes that I drive by on my errands. For the
latter, it sometimes is just the pretty pictures that
bring a smile to their face.
I have noticed in recent years that at all of the various
doctor's offices (at Kaiser, Oakland) they no longer have
any good magazines. They used to, so I'm not sure what
changed. I would LOVE it if you would take the time to
distribute your interesting magazines to the various offices
in the various Kaiser buildings. The only hitch I can think
of (besides you finding the time for that! is that Kaiser
might toss them. We'd need to find out if their lack-of-mags
is a cost-cutting measure on their part (no more
subscriptions?) or just streamlining (or maybe a germ
issue?). If they're open to it, I know their clients would
very much appreciate it. The current lack-of-good-mags has
me bringing my own- which is tricky to remember to do!
Magazine Reader! =o)
The El Cerrito Recycling on Schmidt Lane above Richmond
Ave has an area for books and magazines where they can be
recycled by people who would like to read them.
Most hospitals incl Kaiser medical offices will take
magazines for their waiting rooms. You can drop them off
at the info desk at the entrance.
I've heard that the Oakland Zoo takes magazines to use for
chimpanzee enrichment. Seriously. I guess they like looking
at the pictures. Probably not what you had in mind, but a
I usually take my semi-current leftover trashy magazines
by either my doctor's office, or one of the local Quest
laboratories. Any place with a waiting room can benefit
from something a little more interesting to read!
The downtown Berkeley Y can always use some new magazines in the workout
rooms. The New Yorker is a good magazine, but not what I want to read
I'm bouncing up and down on the stair climber. I bet (though I don't
sure) that even if you're not a member they'd let you drop off magazines
Reading fluffy magazines is the best part of working out
The laundromat- people would really appreciate it.
I live in El Cerrito and have donated to & taken from their
magazine bin near the front door. I don't know how many you
have, but perhaps you could call them and see what their
limit is. They may also know of other libraries that take
There's a bin in the lobby of the Rockridge library. That's where I leave
mine, and they seem to go pretty fast.
A Rockridge mom
I have brought magazines to the local jail, especially the one with a
branch. I have removed the ''smellies'' (the lotions, perfumes, etc.
of course my address labels, but other than that I just drop them off at the
desk. If this idea interests you, you may want to call your county's
office first to check on any security issues they may present. I got the
I visited the local branch for a class and saw an inmate reading The New
The magazines offer something new and current for inmates, and are a good
way to stay connected with the outside world.
I drop off my old Harpers and New Yorkers at Kaiser Hospital
at the info desk in the lobby.
Does anyone know who might want a donation of a complete set of
National Geographic Magazines spanning over 40 years (from 1966 to the
present)? My dad recently passed away, and my mom would like to give
the collection to someone
who will appreciate it (if there is any such person/group in this
I'm not sure you're going to like this suggestion, because you may be wanting to
pass the magazines onto a collector or someone who would keep the magazines in
tact, as they belonged to your father and collected over many years. But as a
public school teacher, and parent, I know National Geographic magazines are
wonderful resources for classroom projects. However, that entails the magazines
getting all cut up and pasted into a child's new creation! If you and your
mother are okay with that, I'm sure your local school - actually, maybe several
schools, as it sounds like you have so many magazines - would appreciate them.
Oakland Teacher/Berkeley Parent
I'd call SCRAP:
801 Toland St
San Francisco, CA 94124-1313
you could also call:
East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse
4695 Telegraph Avenue (@47th Street)
Oakland, CA 94609
Open daily, 11am-6pm
What to do with a stack of Rolling Stone magazines from five to six years ago or so? Some
feature retrospectives, best 100-ever lists, etc. Are they of any value to anyone? I can't
imagine they're hard to get hold of, but maybe there are collectors who hoard -- sorry, I
meant, collect -- them? Or should I just toss them in the recycling bin?
If you don't find someone who wants them on freecycle, here, or Craigslist, or
just want to drop them somewhere, you can bring them to El Cerrito Recycling
Center where they can be put on bookshelves in the book exchange section, or in
the catalog/ magazine recycle bin where people sometimes ''dive in'' and take
magazines of interest. Also Center for Creative Re-use in Oakland might take them.
You bet someone would LOVE your magazines! Please try Freecycle.org. It's helped
me get rid of all sorts of stuff that was still useable. The idea is to reuse as
much stuff before eventually hopefully recycling it or trashing it. Hope it works
as well for you as it has for me!
I bet you could find a taker using freecycle.org anon
We have a box of old (average about 1-2 years old) magazines
that range the gamut from New Yorker, to Climbing, to Self, and
Fit Pregnancy, etc.
Since most of the articles aren't super time-sensitive, it
seems a shame to toss these all into our recycling can. Does
anyone know of a good place to donate them? I imagine
hospitals, government aid waiting rooms, even places that want
English texts to teach English might have some use for them.
There is a great magazine exchange rack at the North Berkeley
branch library. People leave their magazines, and can take
others if they like. It's on a big baker's type rack near the
Donating Other Books
I have a box of books, games/puzzles (not children's) that I would like to
donate. Looking for suggestions on maybe a women's shelter or ?
You could mail them to soldiers stuck in Iraq or Afghanistan. Check out
Anysoldier.com. Find the name and address of a soldier. Get one of those
standard $8.00 boxes at the post office (you don't pay for it intil you
actually mail it). Fill out the address and customs form according to
specific and good directions on the web site and send it off. Some
soldiers would be glad to get new reading materials and puzzles and any of
the other items listed on anysoldier.com.
FYI, For ''Drowning in books posting'' and/or anyone clearing off their book
shelves-- the Children's Book Project is a WONDERFUL resource...they take books ages
infant-18years old and they then sort and distribute them for you...they go to
daycares, preschools, school libraries, etc. If you have a lot of books, they'll
even pick them up for you. We just donated several boxes and they were so pleasant
and appreciative. For more information, you can see their website:
A book-loving mom
For the person trying to reuse/recycle books: try the local libray and then if that
doesn't work, El Cerrito recycling center takes books, magazines, cell phones, eye
glasses, clean plastic grocery and newspaper wraping bags, plus a full complement of
the ''reguar recyclables'', and there is a Goodwill donation station there. The
prority is reuse and then recycling. You can get more info at www.ecrecycling.org
Hi, I have tons of books and magazines to get rid of. I didn't
know if there is a place I can recycle these old magazines and
books. Does anyone know?
A couple of suggestions:
1. If your magazines are no more than one year old, you can leave
them at the magazine exchange at the North Berkeley Library
(Hopkins at the Alameda).
2. If the magazines and books may be of interest to older folks,
ask the folks at your nearby senior center if they might like to
3. Books in decent condition can be donated to libraries, usually
through their ''Friends of...'' organization. In most cases, the
books are them offered for sale at the library's fund-raising
4. Children's and teen books in good condition can be donated to
You can take old books to Friends of the Library book store
on Durant Ave, just below Telegraph. Call Main Library to
find out details. Maybe they take magazines also. You can
also take some books to individual branch libraries where
they sell them for $1.00 or so.
Any suggestions for where I might donate used books? I have a
few small crates I'd like to get rid of (not sell) and I am
hoping someone can use them for charitable purposes.
Do you have some used books to donate to a worthy cause? I am
seeking used book donations for Crowded Fire Theater Company.
We sell the books through Amazon.com, Ebay, and local
booksellers to raise money for our nonprofit theater program.
For directions and more information, please visit our web site:
If you have any questions, or for other ways to donate books,
please contact me: mitchellATcrowdedfireDOTorg
I recommend the Friends of the Berkeley Library --
http://www.infopeople.org/bpl/support/friends.html , located
underneath the Sather Gate garage southside of campus. You can
bring in your donation any time it's open, and they'll validate
your parking. Just park in the garage, take the elevator down,
and you're right there. They'll give you a tax receipt, too.
I just donated three bags of books (making room for babies!),
and they are very grateful and nice there.
A few ideas: With public school libraries severely underfunded,
they may want some of your books. Bananas (on Claremont near
Telegragh) accepts donations of books that child-care providers
can take. I don't know if it is still there, but Cody's had a
drop-off bin to donate books to a charity. You don't have to
buy the books there to donate them. Senior Centers often
accept donations of books for their clients. Every public
library in this area accepts donations that they will either
keep or sell at their fund-raising book sales. El Cerrito
Recycling Center has a free book exchange.
Most libraries take book donations. They give you a receipt
for tax deduction purposes, and then sell the books at their
Friends of the Library sales to raise money for the branch.
Berkeley public library.
Try the Berkeley Public Library's Friends of the Library shop--
they are located on the ground floor of the Channing Street
garage. Also, a fabulous place to buy LOTS of inexpensive and
We donated some books to the Berkeley Public Library. I believe
the group Friends of the Library maintains a little store to the
right when you enter the front door.
Moe's book shop on Telegraph also collects books that go to
You might consider giving them to your local library. I know
the BPL has a regular book sale, at which they sell used and
deaccessioned books as part of their fundraising. Oakland PL
may do the same.
Friends of the oakland Public library. On washington between
7th & 8th, in old oakland. They sell donated books to help fund
the oakland library.
The El Cerrito Library, a branch of the Contra Costa County
Libraries, accepts book donations. They sell them at
fund-raising sales to benefit the library.
The same is probably true for every library...
-- a reader and library patron
I'm considering selling or donating my collection of French
literature paperbacks (left over from my college days). Any
I teach French at San Domenico School and I don't have a lot of
French litterature available for my students to read during their
free time. Which books do you have and how many??? I would be
interested to take them!
I collect books that I dirstribute for free in economically-
challenged areas of the East Bay. If you'd like to dontate your
books, I'll pick them up. Send email to
Elaine Connolly, Hey, Read This!
this page was last updated: Oct 14, 2012
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2013 Berkeley Parents Network