To address the book famine that exists in many underdeveloped countries and promote worldwide literacy by establishing libraries using generous donations, volunteers, donated books.
Get Involved > Volunteer in Houston
Interested in Volunteering?
Here's What Our Houston Volunteers Do Each Saturday:
Unpack Boxes of Donated Books
Volunteers begin the day by unpacking boxes of donated books.
Sort Books By Category
Each book is then sorted into plastic tubs according to its category.
Pack and Label Each Box
Once a box is filled to the brim, it is closed & labelled with the respective category
Stack Boxes onto Pallets For Shipment
Volunteers then bring each completed box to a specific pallet ready for shipment!
Looking To Volunteer Abroad?
Ready to make a difference while exploring the world?
Join Books for Development and experience the ultimate volunteer adventure! Spend a week setting up libraries in Africa or South America, immersing yourself in vibrant cultures along the way.
Discover breathtaking landscapes, connect with locals, and empower communities through education.
When and where do I drop off book donations?Donations of gently-used books can be dropped off at sorting warehouse in Houston on Saturdays from 9am-Noon. Click here for directions.
What do you do with books that you can't send?For books that we can't send, we nonetheless make a real effort to find a “good home” for any wholesome books. To that end, we work with other local literacy groups, charter schools, jails, and Spanish speaking groups, to avoid ever throwing away books that we think can help to improve anyone’s life.
Do the people you provide books to speak and read English?Yes, English is widely, but not exclusively, spoken in the countries we work in. For example, in Uganda, while English is the official language, the constitution recognizes 56 tribes and nine indigenous communities.
Can I donate books that are not in English?Yes, we gladly accept book donations that are not in English. Books in native languages of various African & Spanish-speaking countries are highly valuable as they enable readers to engage with literature and educational resources in their own language.
Are there any specific criteria for the condition of the donated books?We appreciate book donations in good condition; free of excessive damage, minimal or no notes/markings, and intact pages.
Where can I get more information on book boxes?Please download our mobile library book box information sheet. This gives you all of the details needed to put together your own book box that can circulate to various districts throughout Africa.
What kind of books are you looking for?Generally, we are looking for any kind of wholesome books, both fiction and non-fiction. We routinely have difficulty finding enough books on Soccer, Philosophy, English Language, primary or secondary mathematics, so we especially appreciate those subjects. See our Printable Book List. We have a very limited need for Cookbooks, books on regional or local history, books regarding American culture, books regarding American politics or books focused on problems or issues unique to wealthy countries or people. Similarly, books on technical subjects that are very dated are not useful.
Do you accept magazines?The only magazines that we accept are National Geographic.