Have you finally got around to Marie Kondo-ing your home and now have books to donate in Philadelphia? If you’re not sure where you can take your old books, then look no further!

There are some great charities and organizations doing some great work around town that we’ve listed here – below we have all the important information you need to be able to donate books in Philadelphia, from what each organization needs, how to donate and the locations.

Why not also check out our newly created Book Donation Map of America, showing the best places to donate books in Philly and everywhere else!

Where to Donate Books in Philadelphia

Photo by Gibson Hurst

Books Through Bars

Location: 4722 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Hours: N/A
Donation Receipt: No
Website: http://booksthroughbars.org/donate/books/

How to Donate

You must contact Books Through Bars either through email or phone 215-727-8170 before donating. They ask if you can specify: how many books you intend to donate, the condition of the books and the subject/genre of the books.

Book Through Bars’ main aim is to reverse the devastating effects that injustice and incarceration has on individuals, families and communities. They distribute free books and educational material to prisoners in 7 states. Their mission is to send books to anyone that asks, as long as the prison accepts books.

You can donate used books in Philadelphia to Books Through Bars, but they only accept books in new, good or lightly used condition. A good way to know if the books are okay to donate is if you’d gift one happily to a loved one.

Softback dictionaries are the number one request for Books Through Bars.

The organisation is not currently accepting:

  • Out of date non-fiction books (computer or marketing books should not be 5 years or older).
  • Hardcovers
  • Old magazines (expect magazines such as National Geographic)
  • Books advocating racial animosity, sexism, homophobia or white supremacy
  • Book with writing
  • Heavily worn books
  • Mouldy, yellow or torn pages

To see a full list of books they are accepting, as well an updated list of books they aren’t accepting, take a look at their website.

Free Library of Philadelphia

Location: Directly behind the main building at the intersection of N.20th St and Wood St.
Hours: 215-567-0527 for hours
Donation Receipt: No*
Website: https://libwww.freelibrary.org/support/in-kind

How to Donate

Just drop your books off to the address above. They are currently accepting:

  • Rare books
  • Manuscripts
  • Correspondence 
  • Works of art

Please note that the acceptance of items is up to the discretion of the appropriate curator.

*If a donor wishes to receive a tax deduction on donations of materials valued at $5,000 and above, the IRS requires an independent, third-party certified appraisal and the completion of IRS form 8283.

Books 4 Cause

Location: Will organize the collection of goods from you
Hours: Monday to Friday: 7am-3pm
Donation Receipt: No
Website: http://www.books4cause.com/donate-books-in-philadelphia/

How to Donate

Organize a pick up date of your choice here.

To fully utilize Books 4 Cause’s services, a $25 donation to the African Library Project charity is required in return for the full book pick up service. This service includes boxes and tape, and the muscle needed to move those heavy books.

Go Green Drop

Locations: Multiple drop off locations throughout Philadelphia
Hours: N/A
Donation Receipt: Yes
Website: https://www.gogreendrop.com/philadelphia-donations

How to Donate

Phone 1-888-944-3767 to organize an appointment with one of their pickup trucks.

There are multiple drop off locations across Philadelphia, but if you wish to utilize the pick up service, you can simply leave your donation outside, and their driver will take all of the acceptable items. 

The driver will also be able to leave a tax receipt to use for your tax deductible donation. 

There is also a service where one of the drivers will help you pack and remove the goods you wish to donate.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Location: 3401 Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Hours: N/A
Donation Receipt: No
Website: https://www.chop.edu/pages/donate-books-reach-out-and-read

How to Donate

Books can be picked up within 60 miles of West Philadelphia as long as:

  • Their program associate can give a brief description of the program and officially thank you for your kind donations
  • You can have someone load the boxes in their very colourful cargo van.

The books they are always in need of are:

  • New board books for infants and toddlers up to 30 months old

Used books should be gently used. 

Unfortunately, books with sensitive issues such as abuse, divorce or death can’t be accepted, as well as sound or audio books as the buttons can be a health hazard.

Ring 215-590-5989 and select option 3 to learn more and how to schedule a pick up. If you would like to mail your books instead (this is a cost that they don’t cover), select option 1 to receive the appropriate address to send them to.

Project Home

Location: HOME Spun Boutique at 1523 Fairmount Avenue.
Hours: N/A
Donation Receipt: No
Website: https://projecthome.org/news/how-run-book-drive-project-home

How to Donate

Project Home is a more general charity working in the Philadelphia area but they have recently begun their “Book Drive” program. Find out about how to host a book drive with Project Home by visiting the website link above.

Once you’ve collected your books, Project Home will then sort and sell the books online through Amazon to raise much-needed funds. They need around 25,000 books to be able to do this steadily.

Where to Donate Books in PhiladelphiaPhoto by Alfons Morales 

Philly AIDS Thrift

Location: Philly AIDS Thrift, 710 S. 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Wednesday to Thursday: 12pm – 7pm
Friday to Saturday: 12pm – 8pm

Sunday: 12pm – 6pm 
Donation Receipt: Yes
Website: http://phillyaidsthrift.com/ways-to-give/donate/

How to Donate

Philly AIDS Thrift accepts donations five days a week, but please note they don’t accept donations on Monday and Tuesdays.

Philly AIDS Thrift encourage you to donate not just your books, but any belongings that you don’t need anymore. From clothes, DVDs to home furnishings, they want it!
Please see their website for a list of items they are not currently accepting. 

You can email them here, or here.

Cradles to Crayons Philadelphia

Locations: Multiple drop off locations throughout Philadelphia; view our “how to donate” info below to see where
Hours: N/A
Donation Receipt: Yes
Website: https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/philadelphia/take-action/donate-goods/items-we-accept/

How to Donate

Put in your zip code here to find your local drop off point.

Email Cradles to Crayons if you’re interested in becoming a drop off site.

Cradles to Crayons are always after baby board books through to grade 6. Take a look at their website for more information on what items they will accept.

Where Can I Donate Books in Philadelphia? The Spark Notes: 

  • Books Through Bars
  • Free Library of Philadelphia
  • Books 4 Cause
  • Go Green Drop
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Project Home
  • Philly Aid Thrift
  • Cradles to Crayons Philadelphia

And there you go – all the best places to donate books in Philly! We hope this has given you some motivation to donate your books now you know exactly where to go, or has given you some inspiration to clear out the books you no longer read.