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This week we bring you the top links for New York City book donation and reading philanthropy. As any MS in Publishing student knows, books take up a lot of space! Do you have too many tomes on your shelves? Has your nightstand turned into a bookshelf? Do you use books to hold up other furniture? It might be time to pare down your collection, and curate your library to truly represent your favorites. You probably don’t need both the hard-cover AND soft-cover editions of Harry Potter (but we’ll let you keep the British edition!)

  • ReLIT NY is a book donation service that provides books for NYC commuters. They stand outside subway stations and pass out books for anyone who wants them. Their mission is to get more people involved in informational media on their commutes, as reports show that 52% of people do not engage in reading on their trips to and from work. Check out their website for donation (or pick-up) information.
  • The NYPL Correctional Services program is a multi-leveled campaign to increase prisoner’s access to books and improve literacy. They go to Rikers Island, Manhattan Detention Complex, and juvenile detention centers and delivery books and reading programs. They are run by mostly volunteers and accept donations on current events, government, and skills-based reading.  Check out their information here. For other general library donations, check out their general policies on gifts.
  • Another prison donation group, NYC Books Through Bars sends books to inmates across the county. Check their website for donation info. They also have great volunteer opportunities if you have spare time this summer!
  • Housing Works has a series of thrift shops that finance services for homeless, the mentally ill, and others. They accept donations of all kinds including books, clothing, furniture, and other housewares. Check their website for information about where to drop off books.
  • Better World Books is a large organization that runs book donation services across the country. They say: “Better World Books supports book drives and collects used books and textbooks through a network of over 2,300 college campuses and partnerships with over 3,000 libraries nationwide. So far, the company has converted more than 58 million books into over $10.4 million in funding for literacy and education. In the process, we’ve also diverted more than 40,000 tons of books from landfills”. Check out their mission and website here.

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