Having two kids on the other side of elementary school has left me with a massive collection of board books and early readers that is not only out of hand, but also not appreciated by the kids whose shelves these titles are dominating.
Whether we have grown out of them by age or they just weren't winners, I was pleased to learn that books can be donated to a number of places locally that will help them find new homes — and raise money for good causes.
Here's where to donate books
East Bay Children's Book Project
Get books into the hands of children who don't have easy access to them. The Children's Book Project accepts books in mailbox-style drop-off locations, all around the East Bay. Make note of the ones nearest you.
Alameda Children's Book Project Donations
- Dr. David Johnson, 2100 Otis Dr # F
- Dr. Karen Larson, 2420 Webb
- Tucker’s Ice Cream, 1349 Park St.
- Books Inc., 1344 Park St.
- Modern Mouse, 2228 S. Shore Ctr.
Albany Children's Book Project Donations
- Bowl’d Korean, 1479 Solano Ave.
Berkeley Children's Book Project Donations
- Netivot Shalom, 1316 University
- Books Inc, 1491 Shattuck
- Baker and Commons, 2900 College Ave
Castro Valley Children's Book Project Donations
- Jensen Ranch School, 20001 Carson Lane
Oakland Children's Book Project Donations
- Piedmont Grocery, 4038 Piedmont Ave.
- Ruby’s Garden, 5026 Telegraph Ave. #C
- A Great Good Place for Books, 6120 LaSalle
- Temescal Library, 5295 Telegraph
- Dr. Comics & Mr. Games, 4014 Piedmont Ave.
- Diesel, 5433 College Ave
- Crocker Highlands Elementary, 525 Midcrest
- Ohgane Korean BBQ, 3915 Broadway
- Oaklandish, 3419 Fruitvale
- St. Paul’s Church, 114 Montecito
- SGI-USA Buddhist Center, 3834 Opal Street
- Farmer’s Insurance, 3560 Grand Ave
- Dress Best for Less, 3411 Lakeshore
- Woody’s Laundromat, 1841 Park Blvd.
Piedmont Children's Book Project Donations
- Havens School, 323 Highland Ave.
- Piedmont Middle School, 740 Magnolia
Oakland Public Library accepts book donations
Most libraries have a way to accept book donations, however, they do not want books with outdated content, so no travel books, tech books, or reference books. Oakland Public Library can accept up to two bags of donated books at the main branch. Call other branches before bringing donations to get approval before bringing materials.
Oakland Public Library Main Branch: 510-444-0473
This Old Oakland bookstore is a fundraising arm of the Oakland Public Library. They accept books they can resell, so nothing that's missing pages, marked by highlighter or any of the outdated categories listed above. Call ahead if you want to bring more than a few boxes of books.
721 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607 | 510-444-0473
Similar to public libraries, elementary schools frequently accept book donations to their libraries, classrooms, literacy coaches, or in book swaps.
Try calling the one near you to see if they're accepting donations.
Little Free Library
Can you and your child walk to a Little Free Library. Heather's kids love to browse and donate books on their walk to school in the morning.
See our post on Little Free Libraries.
Bambino Thrift Shop
Located on College Avenue in Rockridge, Bambino Thrift Shop operates for the sole purpose of fundraising for Oakland Children's Hospital (run by UCSF Benioff). Children's books are welcome, but no encyclopedias or reference materials more than two years old. Donations are only accepted on Wednesday and Thursday from 10-2:30 and Saturday 12-3:30.
5290 College Ave, Oakland, CA