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Due to our temporary closures, we are currently not accepting book donations at any location.

Donate Your Materials

stacks of used books

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the current pandemic and our temporary closures, we are currently not accepting book donations at any location.

If you have a generous heart and some new or very gently used books, videos, or CDs that you don’t need, you should donate them to your local branch’s Friends of the Library, who gratefully accept these items at donation bins in all library locations, except the King Library. Materials are resold to raise funds which are given back to the San José Public Library system.

Unsolicited Donations of Materials to the Library Collection

Gifts are evaluated based on the same criteria as purchased materials. Acceptance of donated items is subject to the discretion of the collection development librarians. Donated items not added to the collection are not returned to the donor, but instead are offered to the Friends of the Library, which provides funds for system programs. Monetary donations are encouraged as an alternate form of giving that allows collection development librarians to choose materials guided by this policy.

What To Do with Used Magazines, Encyclopedias, and Textbooks

But what if you have gently used magazines, National Geographic issues, encyclopedias, textbooks, or Reader's Digest condensed books that you don’t need? Unfortunately, most library Friends groups do not accept these types of items. So, what can you do with them, especially if you'd prefer that they be re-used rather than simply recycled?

Here is a list of organizations in the local area that may accept donations in these categories — provided that the items are in good condition. This list was compiled by searching recyclestuff.org. Please call each organization before donating, since it may no longer accept the kind of donation you are planning to give.

Magazines

National Geographic Magazine

Encyclopedias

Textbooks