Skip to main content

How to donate used books

Off Campus Book Donation Resources

Many public libraries, or Friends of the Library groups, have regular book sales and welcome appropriate materials for resale.  Many libraries have donation guidelines posted on their website, while you will need to contact others by phone. The following list includes public libraries near Sarah Lawrence which accept donated books.

Yonkers Riverfront Library

The Yonkers Public Library accepts your books, CDs, DVDs, and video game donations at the Riverfront branch. YPL's donation guidelines are listed here. Call (914) 337-1500 for more information.

New York Public Library

New York Public Library (NYPL) will review gifts of academic titles for the collections that the Research Libraries do not own. Contact NYPL at NYPL’s gifts policy is here. NYPL may request an inventory list or a representative sample of the donation.

Queens Public Library

Queens Public Library accepts large donations delivered to the QPL loading dock. Call the Circulation Desk Supervisor’s line (718) 990-0846 to offer the library a heads-up about donations and to schedule delivery (Monday-Friday) at the Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., Jamaica, Queens.

Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library accepts no gift donations. BPL will accept donations for books sales, but only at certain times of the year. Check the BPL web site for announcements of when books are being accepted.

Like used book stores, many thrift stores will also take books in good condition. This selected listing includes places that may accept book donations near Sarah Lawrence. Make sure you check with these stores individually though; some may have different needs than others.

Goodwill accepts used book donations for their resale stores. You can find conveniently located donation drop off centers near campus by using on this page.  Proceeds from the stores fund job training and placement programs for those who face unemployment challenges, such as the disabled. For instructions on how to donate and where to find the the nearest Goodwill Donation Center, click here

Better World Books 

Bridge of Books Foundation is a volunteer-led organization that acts as an ongoing source of books to underserved children throughout New Jersey. Donate books at one of any dropbox locations near you. Learn more at

Housing Works Bookstore Café guidelines here. For large donations, email with details. Donations are accepted at the Bookstore Monday-Friday 10 am-8 pm and Saturday-Sunday 10 am-4 pm. Books can be shipped to Housing Works at 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012 Attn. General Donations. Tax receipts are available if requested. For early closings, click here.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Proceeds from ReStores are used to help build strength, stability, self-reliance, and shelter in local communities and around the world. Check out their website for locations near you.

In some cases, you can schedule a pick up for your books The following are only some of the many places that offer this service.

Picks-up donations for veterans  and their families. They work quickly, arriving in a day or two after contact. Schedule a book pick-up here.

Picks-up donations for veterans  and their families. They work quickly, arriving in a day or two after contact. Schedule a book pick-up here.

Map of Book Donation Drop Boxes by SLC

This map features some of the groups and organizations that accept book and magazine donations at drop off sites near campus. Remember that before making a donation, you should carefully read an organization's donation guidelines to ensure your materials can be accepted.

Unusual places to donate books

Most places that accept donated new or used books will NOT accept sets of encyclopedias or other categories of special or rare books. Rather than simply putting these out for recycling, you can try thinking outside of the box and see if some more unusual places will accept your donation. Here are a few suggestions from the American Library Association:

  • local theaters (for stage props)
  • arts and crafts locations
  • ski resorts
  • preschools/childcare sites
  • children's hospitals
  • nursing homes

If you have books that are rare and questions about what to do with them, check out Your Old Books, a guide about getting rid of and assessing the value of old books made by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, Association of College and Research Libraries.

Source: ALA Book Donation Programs Resource Guide