Where To Donate Books In Singapore
The trend of decluttering and living a minimalist lifestyle has been around for quite some time, where people rid their living space of old and unused items. If you’re thinking of clearing your books that have piled up over the years, why not give them a new lease of life by donating them to those in need instead.
Not only will you free up some space on your shelves, but you’ll also be helping out the less privileged in our nation. Continue reading to find out where you can donate your books in Singapore.
1. Books Beyond Borders
Image courtesy of Books Beyond Borders
Not everyone in the world is blessed with the privilege to learn, read, and write. At Books Beyond Borders, they aim to help the less fortunate by raising funds for education in Nepal. The proceeds from selling second-hand books will go into improving children’s education in rural regions of the country.
The second-hand bookstore accepts donations of English books, including both fiction and non-fiction, which are still in good condition. Also, they welcome anyone to visit the bookstore to pick up a book or two. For more information about their book donation, you can check out their guide here.
Running as a second-hand online sustainable book store, Thryft was established by students of NUS. Here, you can donate and also trade-in books. By doing so, you’re extending the shelf life of each book by their resale, reuse, and recycling. Furthermore, a portion of their proceeds goes back to society, assuring you that your pre-loved books are doing good.
There are two ways Thryft accepts donations – either drop them off at their allocated locations, or submit a pick-up request by contacting their staff. To learn more about their book donation guide, you can visit their website here.
Drop-off locations: Sprout Hub, 102 Henderson Road,Singapore 159562ㅣWarehouse Joy, 23 Kian Teck Road, #02-00, Singapore 628774
Opening hours: Mondays to Sundays, 9am to 10pm (Sprout Hub)ㅣMondays to Fridays, 9am to 6pm, Saturdays 9am to 1pm (Warehouse Joy)
3. Blessings In A Bag
Powered by volunteers in the community, Blessings In A Bag aims to provide every child and youth in Singapore with the essentials needed to feel safe and loved. For more than 10 years, they have been collecting donations and distributing pre-loved items that still function well to those in need. Plus, communities across South East Asia have also benefited from their efforts.
They accept a wide range of donations from books to household products, but before you donate, be sure to check with their guidelines and what they are looking out for.
4. Share-Your-Book @ South West
Announced in January 2022, Share-Your-Book @ South West is an initiative by South West Community Development Council (CDC) that allows Singapore residents to donate their books. The donated books will later be made available at over 14 Community Library @ RCs, and reading corners in the South West District.
In return, donors can earn 5 cents for every book donated, and the amount will be credited through recycling points in the Sharetings mobile app. For more information, visit CDC’s official website.
5. One Bag, One Book
Founded by migrant worker and award-winning poet Zakir Hossain Khokan in 2015, One Bag, One Book aims to spread the reading culture among migrant workers. Apart from seeking book donations in English, Tamil and Bahasa Indonesia, they are looking out for books in Bengali, Hindi and other South Asian languages as well.
Through the initiative, they hope that migrant workers in Singapore will be able to express themselves through literature and arts, as well as use reading as an alternative way to take care of their mental health. If you’re interested to learn more, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook messenger.
6. FairPrice Share-A-Textbook
Launched in 1983, FairPrice Share-A-Textbook is an annual community programme that collects textbooks to be distributed for free to students from needy families. Apart from textbooks in the current syllabus, they also accept assessment books, story books and encyclopedias. These are classified as “reference books”.
During the donation period, members of the public will be able to drop-off their books at any NTUC FairPrice store (besides Cheers and Unity). Visit FairPrice’s official website to stay up-to-date on the donation drive that takes place every November.
7. National Library Board
If you didn’t know, the National Library Board (NLB) has Book Exchange Corners at certain library branches. All you have to do is bring your books down, and load up the designated shelves. If you happen to see any books to your liking, you can also take them home.
Branches with Book Exchange Corners can be found across the island. These include Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Central, Geylang East, Jurong Regional, Jurong West, Queenstown, Toa Payoh and Woodlands Regional.
If you have more specialised books that are specific to Singapore and Southeast Asia, try submitting them directly to NLB, which is looking to expand its collection of such works. All you have to do is fill up this form, and they will assess which works they can take from you.
8. Dignity Mama
Dignity Mama operates four kiosks selling donated books at hospitals in Singapore. It engages youths with special needs and caregivers to manage the kiosks as a way to teach them basic entrepreneurial skills.
To donate books to Dignity Mama, fill out this online form before dropping them off either at Ng Teng Fong Hospital or National University Hospital. Currently, they only accept children’s books, adult fiction and non-fiction books, and magazines like National Geographic and Reader’s Digest. For the full book donation list, be sure to check out their website here.
Drop-off locations: Ng Teng Fong Hospital, 1 Jurong East St 21, #02-10, Tower A NTFH Clinics, Singapore 609606 | National University Hospital, 1 Lower Kent Ridge Road, #01-39, One @ Kent Ridge, Singapore 119082
Opening hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 10am to 6pm (Ng Teng Fong Hospital)ㅣMondays to Fridays, 10.30am to 8pm (National University Hospital)
Website | Facebook ㅣInstagram
9. Migrant Library Singapore
To inculcate a love for reading amongst migrant workers, Migrant Library Singapore organises mobile libraries to the workers’ dormitories. It also runs literary activities such as poetry readings and book discussions.
Migrant Library Singapore’s booth at Centre for Domestic Employee’s May Day Domestic Employees Celebration
For the unacquainted, Migrant Library Singapore’s collection is entirely derived from donations. So, if you happen to have any books written in Bahasa Indonesia, Bengali, Burmese, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, Tagalog and Thai that are looking for a new home, you know where to donate them.
As of now, Migrant Library Singapore is not accepting English books, but feel free to reach out to them via Facebook messenger for the latest updates.
Drop-off location: TWC2 Dayspace, 1C Rowell Road, #02-01, Singapore 207958
Opening hours: 10am to 7pm daily
10. The Salvation Army
Most Singaporeans would be familiar with The Salvation Army and how it accepts donations of all kinds of items to aid the underprivileged. Besides dropping off your pre-loved clothes once a year while spring cleaning, why not donate your used books to be sold at its Family Stores any time of the year as well?
You can bring your old books to any of its Donation In Kind booths. Visit its website for the list of locations across Singapore.
Donate Your Pre-Loved Books To Those In Need In Singapore
Give your pre-loved books a new lease of life when you donate them to those in need. With this list of places that accept book donations, rest assured that your books will wind up in good hands for a good cause.
As a rule of thumb, be sure to only donate books that are in good condition, as none of these places are a dumping ground for unwanted items.
Cover image: Source, Image courtesy of Books Beyond Borders
This article was originally published on 24 September 2019 and updated by Jou Teng Tan on 21 March 2022.