PLEASE NOTE: We are still not ready to accept any book donations, beyond our wishlists at Greenlight Bookstore, due to logistics around the pandemic; we’ll send out a newsletter and put on social media when we can start accepting donations again.
We appreciate all inquiries to donate books. However, due to our limited space and resources, there are several guidelines we ask you to follow:
- We do not accept hardcover books. Most prisons do not allow them, and they are expensive to mail.
- Please review the topics we are in need of (listed below). Do not donate out-of-date or obscure texts. We are currently overloaded with general fiction, plays, short stories, poetry, and writing textbooks.
- We cannot accept books with underlining/notes or books that are heavily worn.
- We cannot make book pickups. It is ideal to drop off book donations at our space in Red Hook. However, if you have many books from the categories listed below and cannot drop them off, email us to inquire about possible shipping method.
- Our most requested items are English dictionaries, Spanish/English dictionaries, and thesauruses.
- For book drives, we cannot accept more than 5 medium-size boxes of books at one time.
- As a volunteer-run group, we are working with extremely limited resources and space, and donations we cannot use are cumbersome.
We would love to receive PAPERBACK books in good condition on the following topics:
- African-American history, especially 20th century
- Native-American history
- Latin-American history
- Social sciences
- How-to (drawing, origami, chess, knitting, sign language…)
- Mayan and Aztec history
- Memoirs and fiction by people of color
- Dictionaries, thesauruses, GED studies
- Language studies and books in Spanish
- Guides to starting a business
- Yoga and pilates guides
- Mysteries, thrillers, sci-fi, and fantasy
- National Geographic magazines
Other than these topics, we will accept books on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions about donations, please send us an email.
Also, please check out our BookMooch wishlist and Greenlight wishlist for a list of the specifics books we need the most. We also have a Greenlight wishlist to help people in prison learn more about the abolition of prisons and the police, racial capital, and transformative justice. Please consider purchasing one for someone in prison and one for yourself.
BOOKS WE CANNOT ACCEPT:
- Hardcover books
- Religious texts (INCLUDING BIBLES)
- Old magazines (except for National Geographic or similar history/science periodicals)
- White supremacist literature
- Books advocating racial animosity, sexism, or homophobia
- Computer books
- Books with notes or underlining
- Heavily worn books
- Outdated books
WHERE TO BRING BOOK DONATIONS:
Please drop off donations at our packing site:
- Freebird Books, 123 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY (Please don’t send mail or parcels to this address.)
WHEN TO BRING DONATED BOOKS:
You can drop off books during our volunteer sessions in the basement of Freebird (before coming, you should always check the calendar to make sure we are there that day):
- Mondays from 7:30 pm-9:30 pm
- select Wednesdays from 7:00 pm-9:00 pm
- Sundays from 2:00 pm-5:00 pm
Alternatively, Freebird is usually open from 11:30 am-7:00 pm on Saturdays, and so you can drop off books then (though we suggest calling ahead on the day of to double check at 718-643-8484).