Where to Donate Books in Philadelphia

Where to Donate Books in Philadelphia

Books have the power to educate, inspire, and transport us to different worlds. However, as time goes by, our bookshelves may become cluttered with books we no longer need or have outgrown. Rather than letting these books collect dust, why not consider donating them to those who may benefit from them? Philadelphia offers numerous options for book donation, allowing you to give your books a new lease of life and contribute to the community. In this article, we will explore some of the best places to donate books in Philadelphia, along with a useful FAQ section to address any queries you may have.

1. Free Library of Philadelphia
The Free Library of Philadelphia is a fantastic place to donate books, as it supports literacy and education programs throughout the city. They accept books in good condition, including adult and children’s books, textbooks, and graphic novels. Donations can be dropped off at any branch of the library or at the book donation warehouse located at 43rd Street and Grays Ferry Avenue.

2. Friends of the Free Library Book Corner
Located on the third floor of the Parkway Central Library, the Book Corner is run by the Friends of the Free Library. They accept donations of gently used books, DVDs, and CDs. Proceeds from the sale of these items go towards supporting library programs and services.

3. Books Through Bars
Books Through Bars is a volunteer-run organization that sends free books to incarcerated individuals in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. They accept paperback books in good condition, covering a wide range of genres. Donations can be dropped off at their West Philadelphia location or mailed to their address.

4. Philadelphia Prison System
The Philadelphia Prison System has a continuous need for books to stock prison libraries and provide reading materials to inmates. They accept paperback books in good condition, excluding hardcovers. You can drop off your donations at the Riverside Correctional Facility or the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.

5. Books for Africa
Books for Africa is a nonprofit organization that ships donated books to schools and libraries in Africa. They accept a variety of books, including textbooks, children’s books, and educational materials. You can drop off your donations at their Philadelphia warehouse or schedule a pick-up for larger quantities.


Q: Can I donate books that are in poor condition?
A: It is best to donate books in good condition, as organizations often do not have the resources to repair or recycle damaged books. If a book is torn, missing pages, or heavily marked, it is better to recycle it.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the types of books I can donate?
A: Most organizations accept a wide range of books, including fiction, non-fiction, textbooks, and children’s books. However, it is always a good idea to check their specific guidelines before donating.

Q: Can I donate books that are not in English?
A: Some organizations may accept books in other languages, especially if they serve diverse communities. However, it is advisable to check with the organization beforehand.

Q: Can I donate other items along with books?
A: Some organizations, like the Friends of the Free Library Book Corner, accept other media items such as DVDs and CDs. However, it is best to check with the organization to see if they have any specific requirements.

Q: Can I receive a tax deduction for my book donations?
A: Most organizations provide tax receipts for donated items. Be sure to ask for a receipt when dropping off your donations, as this will be necessary for tax purposes.

In conclusion, donating books in Philadelphia not only helps declutter your space but also supports literacy initiatives and provides access to reading materials for those who may not have the means to obtain them. Whether you choose to donate to the Free Library of Philadelphia, Books Through Bars, or other organizations, your contribution will make a difference. So gather up those books and give them a new home where they will be appreciated and cherished.

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