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Friends of the Library - Donation Guidelines

A few pointers about what NOT to donate. We don't like to think that we have limits, but some items are simply not appealing to the Friends' Bookstore clientele for a variety of reasons, and all donations require volunteer time to sort and library space to shelve and store - both of which are precious resources, always in short supply. You can help! Use these guidelines to sort, weed and discard inappropriate materials before donating to the Friends.

Condition matters! Please do not donate books in the following condition(s):

  • Dirty, Shabby, Soiled
  • Moldy, Mildewed
  • Water Damaged or Insect Damaged
  • Damaged Binding or Pages
  • Missing Covers or Pages
  • Excessive Writing, Markings, or Highlighting
  • Softcover books with crooked or twisted spines

Also, depending on the type of material, age can be an important factor. Please do not donate:

  • Magazines, unless they have intrinsic content, i.e. recipes, history, scientific information
  • Computer books more than 3 years old
  • Test prep books older than the current year
  • Law books more than 5 years old
  • Self-help books more than 3 years old
  • Health and medical books more than 5 years old
  • Travel guides more than 2 years old
  • Encyclopedias, unless a complete set in good condition
  • K-12 textbooks more than 3 years old
  • Cassette tapes (except for books on tapes)
  • VHS tapes

Please note: For legal reasons, we do not accept homemade copies of any type of media or commercial software that is not packaged with a book.

Finally, before you donate a book, hold on to the spine and shake each book gently. Very often people leave things in books and forget about them -- important things like receipts with banking numbers, personal photographs, greeting cards with handwritten messages, and even cash. If you forget and we find something and can identify you, we will try to return it to you. Please check before you donate.

Although customer preferences vary slightly across the Main, Taft and El Modena locations of Friends' Bookstore operations, here are the categories that are generally most welcome:

  • Antiquarian & Rare Books
  • Architecture / Art / Photography
  • Biography / Autobiography
  • Body, Mind & Spirit
  • Children's Books & Media
  • Coffee Table Books
  • Collectible Books
  • College Texts, current edition
  • Cooking / Food / Wine
  • Crafts & Hobbies
  • Fiction
  • Foreign Language & ESL
  • Games / Sports / Recreation
  • Gardening
  • Geography
  • High School Texts, to 3 years old
  • Home School Texts, to 3 years old
  • House & Home
  • Humor
  • Literature
  • Nature
  • Performing Arts
  • Pets & Animals
  • Reference
  • Religion
  • Science & Technology
  • Sheet Music
  • Social Sciences
  • Transportation Means
  • Travel

The following materials are expecially welcome:

  • Books on Tape
  • Music CDs
  • DVDs:  Classics, Documentaries or Foreign Language Films
  • How-To DVDs
  • Large Print Books

The Children's Library has its own special requests for gently used donations:

  • Children's DVDs
  • Disney books
  • Board books
  • Christmas books

Donations are gratefully accepted at all three branches of the Orange Public Library.  At the Taft and El Modena locations, it is best to bring them when the library is open.  At the Main location, there is a donation box available 24/7 at the east end of the building in the parking lot.  You can also bring donations in to the Bookstore during open hours.

At this time, it is not possible for the Friends or the Library to pick up donations.  If you are considering a very large donation that might overwhelm our available workspace in the Bookstore (i.e. more than 2 or 3 copy paper-size boxes), it is best to call the Bookstore (714-288-2424) and make special arrangements.

The Friends are pleased to consider offers of unique or specialized collections that do not necessarily meet the standard guidelines above.  In some cases, we may send a subject expert to your site to review a special collection.  To discuss a donation that may be of unique value, please send a message to bookstore407@gmail.com.

If you would like a receipt for tax purposes, count the materials you are donating.  The Friends can give signed and dated receipts for the number of items, but cannot assess the value of your donation.

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