Donations to the nonprofit Friends of the Oakland Public Library 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.
How Can I Donate Money?
By Credit Card
Print the Friends of the OPL Donation Form 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
Donating Books and Other Items
- 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
- 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
- Popular or classic DVDs in like-new condition
Some examples of material that the library will not accept include:
- Travel guidebooks, computer books, or medical books
- Non-book material in outdated formats (e.g.: phonograph records, VHS tapes, music cassettes)
- Almanacs or encyclopedia yearbooks
- Abridged or condensed books or audiobooks
- Book club editions
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 non-profit 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. Contact your local library for further information.
Where to bring donations
Books, CDs, and DVDs 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, at 510-444-0473.
Each branch has different needs for donations. Please contact your local branch directly to find out if they accept donated materials.
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 needs books that are in good, saleable condition! We welcome your donations every day during our regular store hours. The Bookmark asks if you have more than 4 boxes, to please call and talk to a Manager (Sun-Fri) before bringing them to the store to ensure they have space available to accept them. 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 email@example.com
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
- Daycare centers
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). OPL will do its best to match your needs to what is available.