Frequently Asked Questions about Book Donations
What happens to the items that I donate?
Some donated items will end up on library shelves, but most of your donations are used in these ways:
- Sold in the Friends of the Library’s book sales. The Friends use the money raised (about $25,000 a year) to pay for library events, materials, improvements, and services.
- Placed in Little Free Libraries located in various Nashua neighborhoods.
- Used as prizes for summer reading programs and other events.
- Given away to children and adults to support literacy, at our popup libraries at block parties, SummerFun events, the farmers market, cultural festivals, parks, pools, and other locations.
Can I get a receipt for the items that I donate?
If you would like a receipt, you can request one from the staff at the front desk. You will be given a form to fill out and then a letter will be sent to you at a later time. While the library staff will not quote a value of the donated items, they will give you a dated receipt with the number of items that you donated, and the type (hardcover, trade paperback, DVDs, etc.).
What kinds of items do you like to receive?
We are most happy to receive items in good condition, in particular:
- Current and former bestsellers in excellent condition—both fiction and nonfiction
- Classics in good condition
- Fiction paperbacks in like‐new condition
- Children’s titles in good condition (both books and movies sell out at most sales)
- Really, really new unmarked textbooks (within 3 years of the publication date)
- Audiobooks—another huge seller!
- CDs and DVDs—purchased, not copied
What kind of items can’t you use?
We don’t accept:
- Reader’s Digest Condensed books
- Items in poor condition—mildew odor, yellowed or missing pages, broken bindings
- Textbooks and travel books more than three years old
- Dated nonfiction
- VHS videotapes
- Cassette tapes
- Medical or legal references more than three years old.
We have found over the years that these items don’t sell well in our book sales. Rather than spending time and energy lugging them into the library for us to throw away, we hope you will just do this yourself. It is perfectly acceptable to discard a book that you once enjoyed, but is no longer in demand or useful.
How, and when, can I donate books?
- We accept book donations throughout the year at the front desk. While the Friends do put out a press release asking for donations just prior to the book sale, we appreciate donations that are made at any time.
- If you have a large donation, come to the front desk and ask for help bringing them in from your car. Or email us to arrange for pickup.