Midwinter Book Drive for Books for Africa

The Reference and User Services Association will be holding a book drive for the organization Books for Africa during the 2017 ALA Midwinter meeting, January 20-23, in Atlanta, Georgia. Feel free to bring a book with you on the plane, or pick one up in the exhibits hall. At Midwinter, drop by the ALA Lounge to donate your titles in the marked collection box. You can also drop off books at the RUSA Social (1/21 @ 5:30, Omni Hotel, Cottonwood Room). At the end of the conference, RUSA volunteers will take the books to the Atlanta warehouse of Books for Africa. There, donated books are sorted and packed by volunteers who carefully choose books that are age and subject appropriate before shipping them to libraries and schools in multiple African countries.

Be ready to flex your collection development muscles because Books for Africa asks that donated materials meet some basic guidelines. Books should be less than 15 years old and in great condition (no “dog ears,” compromised bindings, etc.). Titles should be written in English or French only. They have a great demand for picture and children’s books.

Books for Africa accepts:

  • English- and French-language books
  • new books
  • used books in great condition
  • ARC book copies
  • textbooks (less than 15 years old)
  • reference books (not encyclopedias)
  • leisure reading (novels, picture books, etc.).

Books for Africa does not accept:

  • textbooks that are more than 15 years old
  • encyclopedias
  • books that are “Western centric” (Examples of books not accepted: books about holidays that are only celebrated in the United States and Europe, like the Fourth of July or Valentine’s Day, books on US history or historical figures, books about witches or magic, like the Harry Potter series)
  • books that are not in good condition (Books with spine damage, excessive writing, or damaged covers or pages will not be accepted.)
  • books not written in English or French
  • academic journals

For more information, contact [email protected]

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