FAQ

+Can I get a tax deduction for my book donations?

Yes! Click here for a form you can fill out and keep for your records, documenting your donation.

+What types of books do you accept?

We welcome your donations of new or gently used children’s books for readers of all ages, from birth through high school. This includes board books, picture books, chapter books, and young adult novels. If a book is in good enough condition that a child would choose it off a shelf, it’s good enough for us!

Our greatest need is for books for our youngest readers (as early as birth). Additionally, we want our book donations to reflect the diversity of our population: we especially welcome books with diverse characters and Spanish language or bilingual books.

We are not able to share with our children books for adults, books with political or religious themes, books that are too worn or are missing pages, reference books, textbooks, or encyclopedias. See below for information about what happens when these books are donated.

+What happens to book donations that Book Harvest cannot use?

We are not able to share with our children books for adults, books with political or religious themes, books that are too worn or are missing pages, reference books, textbooks, or encyclopedias. When we do receive books that we cannot use, we donate them to other nonprofit organizations that can use them, such as Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels and The Scrap Exchange. We are able to sell a small number of the books we cannot use to a local reseller; revenues realized from these book sales help fund our programs.

+Why does Book Harvest focus on giving books as opposed to other activities that support literacy?

Multiple studies have demonstrated that merely having books at home is an important factor in children’s academic success. By giving books to children who have few or no books of their own at home, we can work to bridge the achievement gap and help forge a path toward long-term academic success. Providing books from birth ensures a book-rich environment from the start and helps the child grow up in a culture of reading. Ensuring that low-income school-aged children go home for summer with books to read gives them the tools they need to arrest the summer slide during their highest risk time for loss of academic skills.

+Why does Book Harvest insist that children who receive books be allowed to select their own books?

It’s simple: kids who are more “buzzed” by their books are more likely to read them!

+In what areas does Book Harvest operate?

It depends on the program! Our Book Babies program serves Medicaid-eligible babies and families in Durham County. Our Books on Break program partners with elementary schools in Durham and Orange counties, including Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Our Books to Go program provides books to middle and high school students through educators and nonprofit partners throughout the Triangle. And our Community Book Bank also reaches the larger Triangle, supplying books to more than three dozen partners–health clinics, social service agencies, tutoring and after school programs, and community centers–with more than 1,500 books every week.

+How do I get involved?

There are many ways! You can donate money, donate books, run a book drive, or volunteer with us. Volunteer opportunities include serving as a liaison to one of our Community Book Bank partners, running a special event, helping with fundraising, or sorting books. If you would like to bring a group to volunteer, please fill out this form.

+Where can I drop off my book donations?

Our office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we also have a donation bin next to our front door where you can donate books after hours and on weekends. Click here for an up-to-date list of more than a dozen other locations where you can drop off your book donations–including Flyleaf Books, Twig, The Children’s Store, and The Regulator Bookshop.

+What if I want to donate books but I have none at home?

Stay tuned for our wish lists! With a few clicks of the mouse, you will soon be able to order a book to be shipped to us. Or you can stop by one of our favorite independent booksellers in the Triangle–Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, or Letters Bookshop in Durham–to buy a new book to drop in the bin. Receiving new books is especially exciting for us and our young readers!