Donations to the nonprofit Friends of the Oakland Public Library, opens a new window make a direct impact on our library community. The Friends award an average of $200,000 in grants to the Oakland Public Library each year. These grants benefit every OPL location, improving facilities, programs, and services for patrons of all ages.

Learn more about the Friends of the Oakland Public Library, opens a new window, how they support OPL, and how you can join them in this mission!

How Can I Donate Money?

By Credit Card

Donations to the Friends of the Oakland Public Library, opens a new window may be made online through Network for Good, opens a new window. Or find additional donation options, opens a new window.

By Check

Print the Friends of the Oakland Public Library donation form PDF, opens a new window and mail it with your check to:

Friends of the Oakland Public Library
721 Washington Street
Oakland, CA 94607


Sara DuBois, Coordinator of Grants & Volunteers
(510) 238-6572

Donating Books and Other Items

The Oakland Public Library regularly receives donated books. Donations must be:

  • current in content and format
  • in like-new condition
  • of either contemporary significance or permanent value
    consistent with existing library collections

Please do not donate books with:

  • yellow or missing pages
  • damaged spines
  • bad smells
  • stains
  • mildew
  • underlining or highlighting

Some examples of donations that the library encourages are:

  • Current bestsellers in like-new condition
  • Large print books in like-new condition

Some examples of material that the library will NOT accept include:

  • Travel guidebooks, computer books, or medical books
  • Textbooks
  • Non-book material in outdated formats (e.g.: phonograph records, VHS tapes, music cassettes)
  • DVDs, BluRays, CDs, or books on CD
  • Almanacs or encyclopedia yearbooks
  • Abridged or condensed books or audiobooks
  • Book club editions
  • Toys
  • Magazines

Exceptions to the above guidelines may be made for donations to specialty collections such as the Oakland History Room (238-3222) and AAMLO, the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (637-0200).

Unused donations cannot be returned to the donor. They may be offered to the Friends of the Library for sale, discarded, or disposed of in some other way. We encourage donors to recycle books themselves and/or reach out to local nonprofit community groups.

The Library provides a receipt describing the number and type of donated material. The Library cannot be responsible for the appraisal or valuation of donations for income tax or any other purposes.

Donations of children's and teen material are evaluated separately by Children's Services and Teen Services librarians and are subject to additional criteria.

Where to bring donations

Main Library:
Books that meet the criteria listed above may be brought to the Main Library Reference Desk on the first floor during open hours. We accept the equivalent of no more than two shopping bags full of materials. No exceptions.

For larger donations, please contact the Bookmark Bookstore, which is run by the Friends of the Oakland Public Library, opens a new window, at 510-444-0473.

Branch Libraries:
Each branch has different needs for donations. Please contact your local branch, opens a new window directly to find out if they accept donated materials.

East Bay Children's Book Project, opens a new window
Can only accept new and gently used children’s books and do not take textbooks, religious books, magazines or dictionaries. Please call for more details: (510) 408-7323.

The Bookmark Bookstore, opens a new window
The nonprofit Friends of the Oakland Public Library operates a used bookstore in Old Oakland. Their Bookmark Bookstore, opens a new window sells used gently used books, CDs, LPs, and puzzles to raise money for the Oakland Public Library, and have more details on the types of donations that they accept, opens a new window.

If you need other options for donating books, please call the store during open hours (510-444-0473). Staff can provide you with a list of other places that accept donations.

Who can I contact for more information?

Andrew Demcak, Senior Collection Development Librarian, (510) 238-4704, or, opens a new window

Looking for donated books?

When books are donated to the Oakland Public Library, or withdrawn from the Library collection using the OPL Collection Policy, usable books are provided to:

  • Friends of the Oakland Library and Branch Friends Groups
  • Free giveaways at Library branches and community events
  • Book sales
  • Schools
  • Daycare centers
  • Hospitals
  • Art/craft organizations
  • Library programs

Are you or your organization interested in receiving books that the Library cannot use? Please contact Library Director Jamie Turbak (, opens a new window). OPL will do its best to match your needs to what is available.

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