Help Center - FAQs about Books for Schools

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The first Books for Schools program went live on November 23, 2009 with an encore in December 2009;  BFS have happened anually after that, each year in November or December. The program allows members to donate unused PaperBackSwap Book credits and PBS Money from their accounts, for use getting *new* books to be sent to elementary schools in need. The Books for Schools Donations page can be reached here.

Here are the most frequently-asked questions we have gotten:

Where do the books come from?

We have found a source of good-quality, NEW age-appropriate books for younger kids that can be shipped in extremely large quantities for a decent price.  We are buying these books and paying the shipping to the schools - the schools pay nothing. (We were sending used books in the first couple of rounds, but then we found this source of *new* books.)  The exact books that are sent depend on what our suppliers have in stock at the time.

How do our donated credits get turned into books for schools?

Your credit donations reduce our tax liability and free up the funds for us to purchase and ship these books. 

How do you pick the schools?

An eligible school must have a need for books; must be able to receive/handle a large delivery of books; must feel that they can benefit from the kinds of books (ie, the reading level) we can obtain; the information supplied to us must be complete; the school must verify the information supplied and confirm that they want to participate in the program.  Once the school is accepted into the program, the principal (or other school representative) needs to write a "blurb" for the Donations page and provide a photograph to use on the page. 

We wish we could support all schools suggested to us, but we do need to choose because our funds are not limitless.  Schools with a greater need will take precedence.  You can read the descriptions of the schools that have participated to get an idea of what we mean by a need for books. 

How can I suggest a school?

You can suggest a school here.  Please be sure that you have communicated with the principal of the school and gotten his or her OK to submit the request, before submitting the request.  Any schools submitted will be considered for the next round of the program.

Why are you doing mostly elementary schools?

The sources of books we have found are mainly elementary-age books.  We would like to provide books for older kids also, and we're working on that.

Can I send in some books directly?

Currently, that is not possible - the program is not set up for direct donations.  There are issues of privacy and security that would need to be solved before the schools' mailing addresses could be provided to allow direct book donations.  We are looking into this.

Can I donate PBS Money?

After so many inquiries, we have made this possible!  The PBS Money will help defray the cost of shipping the books.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Sorry, it is NOT.  Because the credit donation is used to defray our tax liability, the tax deduction is being taken on our end and that is what makes this program possible. 

When are you going to list more schools?

Please continue to suggest schools to us (once you have talked to the school's principal and gotten his or her OK).   We would like to run this program annually, as we can afford to do so.

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