How to donate books in 3 easy steps

A friendly message from your library’s Friends

friends-donations copy

All books, DVDs, CDs, puzzles, video games and other items donated by the public, along with library discards, are processed by our tireless troop of Friends of the Library volunteers. These items become the inventory for the Chandler Booktique, the annual Book Sale, online sales through Amazon.com and the Bag Sales. This is how your donated books turn into financial support for your library. Thank you!

Since we’re in the bins sorting materials every day, we’ve brainstormed and devised 3 steps to friendly donating. Help a Friend out and remember to hit each of these 3 steps when you bring your items to the library.

book donation

Step 1 – Inspect

When preparing your donation, take a few minutes to give a once-over to every item. The Friends resell these items.

But — we can’t resell items that have been wet or are moldy, dirty, smell of urine or smoke or have bugs in them. For obvious reasons! Handling these items puts the health of our volunteers and staff at risk and it is an expense to dispose of them.

It could cause a risk of infestation to other donated items. We’ve all heard the horror stories of what happens when this step is overlooked. We even have our own horror story — once we found a petrified bat in a box of books that was donated unopened or inspected. Now, that’s an extreme case, but it still gives us the heebie-jeebies.

Be careful of what you might unintentionally donate along with books!

Topeka Library Book Sale 3 - the Museum

The “museum” is an area in the online books room where unintentionally donated items wind up. There’s a petrified bat in here somewhere.

Step 2 – Check to see if we accept your items

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAVHS tapes went out with the new millennium, and unfortunately, we can’t accept them anymore. There are actually quite a few items we can’t accept. Before you drop off your donations, take a peek at what we’re hopeful you’ll bring, and what we wish you wouldn’t. Still not sure? Then give Mary a call at the Friends office, 580-4445. She’s super friendly, just as the manager of the Friends ought to be, and she’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Step 3 – Donate!

If you’re dropping off a few items, you can use our handy donation drop-off box near the corner of 10th and Garfield streets.

donation box

If you have several boxes, you can go past the donation box all the way up to the library’s loading dock and a Friends staff member will be there to help. Then go around front, find a parking spot and come inside. Enjoy the library you’ve helped to make into such an awesome place by donating to the Friends.

Become a member of the Friends >

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Leah Sewell

Leah is the Communications Editor for the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, which basically means she’s an observer, collector and creator of library stories. She’s a veteran publisher and magazine editor who has brought her passion for all things literary and writerly to library communications. Leah has an MFA in writing from the University of Nebraska, is a published poet and author, a graphic designer, and has a very healthy obsession with books, podcasts, art and from-scratch cooking. She lives in Topeka with her two wily kids and a similarly unruly to-read pile.