In rural and inner-city areas, often the only access children have to books is through their school or public library. Many of these libraries continuously struggle with the funding needed to keep new titles on the shelves. These non-profit organizations all share a common mission of supporting underfunded libraries in high needs areas. The grants they offer support school and public libraries and community reading programs to ensure that kids in underserved communities have the same access to reading materials as children in more fortunate areas.
Distribution to Underserved Communities
The DUC Library Program is a New York based non-profit organization that has been providing free books on contemporary art and culture since 1987. The program is open to rural and inner-city libraries, schools and community reading centers across the United States. It has placed over 200,000 books across all 50 states. DUC works with over 90 publishers that provide large book donations to the program. It then covers all costs associated with distributing their books where they are most needed. Currently, DUC offers around 500 titles. Schools and libraries located inside New York can also receive literature and poetry titles through the program’s Poulin Project. To order books, simply visit the DUC website and browse available materials by publisher. The program replenishes its supply of donated books each spring. Libraries are only allowed to make one request per year. If you have any questions about the program call the DUC at 212-255-2919.
It is the mission of this organization to provide books to school and library programs that serve children of low-income families. Since its founding it has distributed over 100 million books and educational materials across the United States and Canada. It offers resources through several methods including discounted prices on new books, free books through its national book bank and book grants offered through local advisory boards. Programs where 70% of the children served are from low-income families are eligible to buy new titles at 50-90% of retail prices. Programs where 80% of the children served are from low-income families are eligible for the book bank and book grant programs. To take advantage of any of these First Book programs, visit the organization’s website and complete the online registration. Contact First Book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-866-732-3669.
This foundation is a non-profit organization based in Eugene, Oregon that supports rural libraries with funding to purchase new, hardcover children’s books. Since 1990, it has donated over $5.25 million of children’s books and placed them into over 3,000 libraries across all 50 states. Libraries are required to complete a local fundraising effort of $50 to $350, but for every dollar raised the Libri Foundation will match that contribution 2 to 1. If your library raises the $350 maximum amount, the foundation will then provide $1,050 of books to your library program. The foundation currently offers over 700 titles most of which have been published in the last 3 years. Contact the Libri Foundation by calling 541-747-9655 or by emailing email@example.com.
This New York non-profit organization was founded in 1990 as a memorial to former children’s book editor Lisa Novak. It has provided over 350,000 books to libraries and organizations that work with children in poor and underserved areas. Assistance is available through Lisa Libraries for small libraries and to organizations that distribute books to children as well. To apply for help simply write to the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org and include information about your program, information on the children it serves and explain how the donated books will be used. If you have any questions about Lisa Libraries simply call 845-334-5559.
For more programs that offer book donations, see our article on Grants for Books.