Holding a book drive can be as simple as putting a box in your garage or office and sending an email to let folks know it's there. If you'd like to hold a larger book drive, check out our Book Drive Toolkit below for more information.

Each time someone runs a book drive in a school, business, community, place of worship, or other similar venue, they help Books for Bay reach more children with the gift of books and the promise of literacy.

To help you get started, we have put together this book drive tool kit---full of tips, materials, website links and other resources.

Please email us at info@booksforbay.org if we can do anything to help (including providing free donation boxes and flyers).

Step 1: Setting Up a Committee of Volunteers

The best way to form your committee is to start talking to schoolmates, co-workers, friends, family and neighbors to generate interest. Contact your school principal, school and community librarians, scout troop leaders or religious leaders to ask for their support and participation. Remember that there is strength in numbers!

Step 2: Where to Hold Your Book Drive

After you have formed your committee of volunteers, the next step is to determine when and where to hold your book drive.

If you decide to hold your book drive in a school, local schools — especially elementary schools — are among the most important organizing hubs for book drives and other literacy promotion events. Principals, teachers and media specialists usually support these kinds of events and will often organize a book drive in their classroom or institution. Be sure to obtain permission within the school, through the principal or director, before you proceed with the book drive. Organizing a book drive in an elementary school is a good way to reach the community because young students will often involve their parents and siblings. It is also a great way for middle and high school students to fulfill community service projects. Consider providing an incentive for the class that collects the most books, or keeping a graph in the school lobby of how many books re collected by each class and the school as a whole. Remember it’s a group effort.

Businesses and Service Organizations
Many companies and service groups such as scouts, civic clubs and men’s and women’s clubs could choose to collect books for Books for Bay to support families and schools in their area. Running a book drive can be a great way for a corporations or business to fulfill a mission to give back to the community in which they are located. To publicize, publish an announcement in your group’s newsletter or calendar; send an email blast. Email Books for Bay for posters and brochures; print out information from our website. Books for Bay can also supply boxes as needed.

Religious Organizations/Places of Worship
Churches and temples are great places to hold book drives. Religious school classes or individual students may want to consider running a book drive for a confirmation, community service or mitzvah project. Ask religious leaders to assist in promoting your book drive and the importance of literacy to their members. Publish an announcement in the organization’s newsletter or calendar. Books for Bay can also supply donation boxes and promotional material.

Step 3: When to Hold Your Book Drive

Book drives can be held any time during the year. Consider holding a drive in conjunction with other reading or literacy events in your local school or library, many of which participate in the following annual events:

  • Banned Books Week (September)
  • Teen Read Week (October)
  • National Family Literacy Day (November)
  • Read Across America Day (March)
  • National Library Week (April)
  • TV Turn-Off Week (April)
  • Week of the Young Child (April)
  • Children’s Book Week (May)
  • Reading is Fun Week (May)
  • Get Caught Reading Week (May)
  • Step 4: Determine How Long to Run the Book Drive

    Most book drives run from two weeks to a month. Donors need time to receive the information, go through their personal libraries and get the books to the collection site. However, there is no set length of time a book drive must run. Work with your committee, if you have one, and with the venue you have chosen to determine what's best for your book drive.

    Step 5: Setting Up Your Collection Site

    Boxes or bins for book collection should be placed where they will be most visible, such as in an entryway or lobby, or as an alternative, in offices or individual classrooms. Boxes should be strong enough to hold a large number of books; a plastic storage bin (18 gallon) works quite well. Books can be transferred into smaller boxes (such as banker or computer paper boxes) once the bin is full. Boxes with cut-out handles work best. It is a good idea to have one person be responsible for checking the collection bin periodically during the book drive. If needed, Books for Bay can provide boxes.

    Step 6: Once the Book Drive is Over

    Schedule an appointment with our organization and we'll come and pick them up at your convenience!