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Book Bank

Help us get books into the hands of children who need them most.

What is the Book Bank?

Our Book Bank is like a food bank: For families furthest from opportunity, we’re here to nourish the hearts and minds of children in Calgary with baby board books, picture books and chapter books.

From the shelves of our Book Bank to the shelves of Little Red Reading House, Reading Place Affiliates, community agencies and Little Free Libraries, our book access movement has given thousands of children books of their very own to keep and get hooked on reading.

Why is book ownership so important?

Every child has a right to read—and the chance to enjoy a bright start in school and in life.

When children have a home library, as little as 20 books of their very own, they achieve three more years of schooling than children who don’t have any books at home.

Source: We are Teachers

25% of children grow up in a home without books.

Source: We are Teachers

By age 3, children from the wealthiest and poorest homes are separated by a gap of a million words.

Source: University of Kansas study, Netty Hart & Todd Risley, & Mapping the Early Language Environment Using All-Day Recordings & Automated Analysis, 2017

How do we get books into community?

Our Little Red Reading Van is part mobile book bank and part pop-up reading place. The van travels from our Book Bank to Little Red Reading House, Little Free Libraries, Reading Place Affiliates and community agencies to top up books and host reading fun.

Since 2015, when our Book Bank was born in the basement of Little Red Reading House, we’ve seen:

166,547 books given to children at Little Red Reading House and via Book Bank

125 unique agencies receive books from the Book Bank

80 Little Free Libraries across Calgary stocked in part by our Book Bank and volunteers

Affiliates

CUPS

Families Matter

Women’s Centre

Children’s Cottage

carya

YW

Discovery House

Miskanawah

Big Brothers Big Sisters

YCC

Book Partners

Calgary Food Bank

Habitat for Humanity

Closer To Home

Woods Homes

Catholic Family Service – Louise Dean Centre

Highbanks

The Alex

Village Square Health Clinic

Rotary Clubs

Kiwanis Clubs

Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre

Hillhurst United Church

Foundation for Early Intervention

Centre éducatif La Forêt Enchantée Ltd

Centre D’Appui Familial

Awo Taan Healing Lodge

Calgary Police Youth Foundation

Trellis

Hull Services

Elizabeth House

Radisson Heights Housing

Marlborough Reads

Wymbin

Inglewood Community Association

Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth

How you can help?

Together, we can help children enjoy the reading essentials they need to thrive. Here are three ways you can support the Book Bank.

Give Time

Volunteer and help us bring books to kids! 

Learn More

Give Books

Host a book drive or drop off small donations of new or gently used children’s books to the porch of Little Red Reading House any time. For larger donations, please see our donation day events below.

Host a Book Drive

Your contribution to feeding the book bank means we can spread the joy of reading to many more children.

Download the book drive kit

Upcoming Book Bank Donation Days

November

5

Book Donation Day at Shedpoint

If you have new and/or gently used children's books to donate, we're accepting donations at Shedpoint, 1212 34 Avenue SE (Bay 120), in Calgary on Saturday, November 5, 2022 between 10 am and 1 pm. See you there!

December

3

Book Donation Day at Shedpoint

If you have new and/or gently used children's books to donate, we're accepting donations at Shedpoint, 1212 34 Avenue SE (Bay 120), in Calgary on Saturday, December 3, 2022 between 10 am and 1 pm. See you there!

Thank you, Book Bank supporters!

What does it mean to a child to have a book of their very own? Some would say, everything. Thank you to the many volunteers, partners and donors who help us get children books to fall in love with.

FAQ

What kinds of books do we accept?

We are grateful to receive high quality new or like-new books in the following categories: BABIES, CHILDREN, AND TEENS We have the highest demand for new board books, and new and like-new books for children and teens. Donations of just children and youth books can be dropped off any time at Little Red Reading House. COLLECTIBLES These are a bit trickier but here are some guidelines: • any book that is in a cardboard case, especially Folio Society books. • any books from the 1930s and earlier IF they’re in good condition. • any early or first edition of any book, especially a famous one. • hardcover local history books about a particular region or local topic and that are a bit larger than an average book. • newspapers and magazines from historic events (eg. a LIFE magazine published about the moon landing.) • autographed books. If you’re unsure about a book, please keep it or recycle it in your blue bin.

What kinds of books do we not accept?

We cannot accept dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, Readers Digest, Harlequin, Avon or Signet romances, magazines, cassettes, or VHS tapes. We also can’t accept titles that are damaged, ripped, marked up or are not like-new in some way.