Your flurry of fall cleaning resulted in a big stack of books that you want to get rid of. Maybe you’ve just cleaned out your parents’ basement or attic and found several boxes of books there too — and you want to donate them to the library.
We welcome donations of books, DVDs and CDs (music or audiobooks), either to add to our collections or to be sold at the Friends of the Library book sales. We especially appreciate books, DVDs and CDs released in the past year, since that allows us to offer more copies of bestsellers while they’re hot and still stay within our budget. So, if you like to treat yourself to new releases, then watch them gather dust on your shelf, we’ll be happy to take them off your hands!
Unfortunately, we can’t accept all materials and sometimes have to turn items away, so here are things to keep in mind before you pack up your trunk:
- Materials we accept (up to four boxes at a time of items less than 10 years old — or any age if they’re children’s books in good condition):
- Fiction hardcover and paperback books
- Nonfiction hardcover or paperback books
- Music CDs
- Audiobooks on CD
- Materials we don’t accept:
- Condensed books (like Readers’ Digest)
- Audio cassettes
- Magazines or periodicals
- Encyclopedia sets
- If your items are more than 10 years old, or on the ‘materials we don’t accept list,’ please deposit them in the large blue ‘Discover Books’ bins located at the entrance to the parking lot. Discover Books compensates the library for your donations, then redistributes them to literacy and community-based organizations, resells, or recycles books as appropriate.
- Items less than 10 years old can be brought into the library during business hours. We have carts and a hand truck available if needed. Please do not place donations in the library’s book drop or leave them outside the library.
- Items must be in good condition. If they’ve been stored for a while in basements are attics, they are most likely unsuitable, unfortunately. If books are dirty, moldy, worn, damaged, or contain notes or highlighting, we won’t be able to use them. Likewise for books with detached covers or missing pages.
- We don’t accept items between April 1 and July 1 while we’re getting ready for the Friends’ big annual sale, but we always accept items published in the current year.
- The library is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, and we will give you a receipt for your donations, but we are prohibited from placing a monetary value on them. Please keep a count of hardcover books, paperback books, DVDs and CDs for your receipt.
- Donated items become the property of the library and can’t be returned.
- If you have a large quantity of items to donate (more than four boxes), please call the library first. We evaluate books carefully and have limited storage space while they’re being processed.
If you have items that don’t meet these guidelines, here are three options in addition to the Discover Books bins in our parking lot:
- You may want to contact Goodwill, American Family Services, or other charitable organizations. They may be open to taking your items depending on their needs and guidelines.
- The Allentown Recycling Center is open to all Lehigh Valley residents.
- Finally, you may want to channel your inner Martha Stewart and make something cool with our old books. There are some amazing ideas in there. Holiday gifts, anyone?
You can download a brochure with all of our donation guidelines from our homepage:
Have questions about items you want to donate? Leave a comment below or give us a call at 610-965-9284.