The Book Fairies: FAQ

What is The Book Fairies?
The Book Fairies makes magic by providing donated books to those in need. We are committed to fighting the illiteracy epidemic by collecting new and/or gently used books and matching them with libraries, schools, teachers and organizations in need that would not otherwise have the means to obtain them.

When did you start and how many books have you donated thus far?
Since our inception in 2012, The Book Fairies has donated over 550,000 books to over 400 underprivileged schools and organizations across Long Island and the greater New York metropolitan area…and counting!

Do you only donate to schools?
No. We try to provide books where there is a need. We have two donation initiatives:

  • School Programs: Our school donation program brings much-needed books and e-readers to the libraries and classrooms of public and charter schools, as well as coordinated before and after school programs. We continually supplement existing libraries and have originated and filled complete libraries for new, devastated or marginalized schools. We work with school administrators and often directly with teachers, running free book fairs for students to create home libraries and building and/or supplementing insufficient classroom libraries.
  • Community Programs: We are committed to fostering community literacy among all readers, many of whom are in situations where access to age-appropriate reading materials/devices can make a measurable difference. We provide reading materials to local institutions where there is a need to enrich their facility’s services. For example, we have donated Kindles to local children’s hospital wards and the Ronald McDonald House. Additionally, we have found a variety of niches within our greater community with needs for specific genres of books. These programs include providing cookbooks and parenting books to community outreach programs, religious books for faith-based organizations, activity books to hospitals, and books for soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and battered women’s shelters. Our free train station libraries are located at stations that serve impoverished communities and are filled twice weekly to offer free books to commuters.

How do I donate books?
Donors can drop off books at the warehouse located at: 70 North Main Street, Freeport, New York, Tuesday through Thursday from 10:00am – 3:00pm. At all other times, donors can use the red book donation box located around the back of the building. If you have a large quantity of books in excellent condition (over 10 boxes or 500 books), it may be possible to schedule a pick up depending upon your location. Please email us at: info@thebookfairies.org if you have further questions.

Can my organization schedule a book drive?
Yes! We frequently work with companies, scout programs, Bar/Bat Mitzvah programs, youth groups, etc. who want to organize their own drive. Please contact us with your organization’s name and number so we can discuss the drive further. We will supply flyers and any other support necessary to make your drive a success.

What types of books do you accept?
We accept books from baby through adult in excellent condition dating from 1996 and newer, magazines from 2016/2017, National Geographic magazines from 2000, college level textbooks, and new, e-readers (Nooks and Kindles, etc). We do not accept encyclopedias.

What condition should the books be in?
We accept used books that are in excellent and “like new” condition and come from a smoke-free environment. The Book Fairies is committed to being a green organization. For that reason, books that show extensive wear and tear, mildew or damage will be recycled.

Where do my donated books go?
The Book Fairies works with school districts and organizations that can benefit from free reading material across metropolitan New York. The baby and preschool books are distributed across preschool programs, daycare centers, homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Elementary, middle school and high school books are distributed directly to schools and programs that support students in impoverished areas. The adult books are sent to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, Little Free Libraries, hospitals and more.

How do I receive books if I am an individual?
Depending on your town and district, you may qualify to receive books. Eligibility is based upon residence in a mid to high poverty districts, as determined by the U.S. government.

Poverty level and economic need are defined by the percentage of students in a given school who qualify for free/reduced lunch. To be deemed eligible for free/reduced lunch, a student must submit a form showing family income at or below 130% of the poverty line (a maximum income of $23,920 for a family of four). Schools with 10%-39% of students receiving free/reduced lunch are denoted as “moderate poverty” while schools with more than 40% of students receiving free/reduced lunch are denoted as “high poverty”.

Use the contact us form to let us know the quantity and reading level of books you need.

Can Book Fairies help schedule a book drive at my school?
Absolutely! We will need the principal/teacher’s contact information and/or the PTA president’s information and we will coordinate directly with your school to set up a book drive. Please email us at: info@thebookfairies.org to set up a book drive.

Can I start my own Book Fairies chapter?
We strive to expand Book Fairies across the country. Contact us about starting your own chapter, and we will give you the tools to get you started. The best part is that it doesn’t require any money to start your own chapter and you can help so many people.

Can I volunteer at The Book Fairies?
We can always use volunteers to help us schedule book drives, collect and sort books. Please fill out the volunteer form so we can best match you in an appropriate capacity. Volunteers are regularly needed Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10am-3pm to sort books at the warehouse (behind 70 North Main Street, Freeport).

Is The Book Fairies affiliated with a religious or government organization?
The Book Fairies is a non-governmental and non-denominational organization.

Is The Book Fairies a 501(c)3 charity?
Yes, The Book Fairies is a recognized 501(c)3 charity by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax exempt charity.

Do you write tax receipts for donations made to your charity?
The Book Fairies will send a tax receipt for monetary and in-kind donations (such as books, e-readers, supplies, etc.).