We’ve seen a number of questions recently on social media asking where to donate children’s books and adult books in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. We know of two organizations that accept gently used books in good condition.

Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library

The Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library raise more than $150,000 for our local library each year from the sale of books donated by the community, membership dues and donations. They accept book donations on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at the lower Library entrance near the staff parking lot.

We enjoy going to their book fairs, which are held three times a year. Each book fair (held in March, August, and December) features thousands of books. The last day of the sale is a bag sale, meaning you pay $10 and can take as many books as you can fit in a bag.

NC Women’s Prison Book Project

The NC Women’s Prison Book Project is an all volunteer run collective that sends books and letters to people incarcerated in women’s prisons and jails across North Carolina. As a locally-oriented project engaged in our own community, they also send books and letters to people detained in the Durham County Jail. Volunteers can meet you to pick up books – they’re especially looking for:

  • Mystery/Thriller/Horror
  • Urban fiction
  • Wellness
  • Romance
  • True crime
  • Puzzle books
  • Crochet
  • Astrology/Witchy/Supernatural

Prison Books Collective

“We send free books and zines to over a thousand incarcerated people in North Carolina and Alabama every year.”  To donate books directly to the Prison Book Collective, email [email protected] and they will work with you to schedule your book donation drop off at a socially-distanced location in Carrboro. They also offer volunteer opportunities to sort books (and listen to music) on Sunday afternoons.

Book Harvest

Book Harvest is based in Durham and provides an abundance of books and ongoing literacy support to families and their children from birth and serves as a model for communities committed to ensuring that children are lifelong readers and learners.

If you have new or gently used children’s books you’d like to donate, please drop them in the Book Harvest bins at any of the following locations.

Clifton and Mauney Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, Chapel Hill

Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill

Happymess Art Studios, Durham

Letters Bookshop, Durham

McIntyre’s Books, Pittsboro

The Regulator Bookshop, Durham

ActivEdge Fitness and Sports, Durham

Triangle Table Tennis, Morrisville

Nolia Family + Coffee, Durham

Locopops, Durham


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Melody Kramer is a Peabody-award winning journalist whose work has appeared on NPR and member stations around the country, as well as in publications ranging from National Geographic to Esquire Magazine....