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Meadows Branch Library is closed for repairs. Please return material to our other locations. Meadows patrons will be notified when holds are available for pickup at the Main Library.

Masks are required in all indoor public spaces for those age 2+ regardless of vaccination status. More about the public health order.

Materials Donation Guidelines

Donation bin at Main Library

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Boulder Public Library accepts new or gently used:

  • Hardcover and trade paperback books, typically ranging from 5 x8” to 6 x 9”
  • Media materials (DVDs, CDs, audiobooks) in good condition
  • Mass market (typically 4.25 x 6.87” pocket size) paperbacks less than 5-year and in excellent condition
picture of mass-market book and trade paperback

The mass-market book is on the left and the trade paperback is on the right. Mass market books are smaller and less durable. Trade paperbacks are larger, higher quality, and more expensive.

The library cannot accept the following materials: (Recycling information)

  • Cassette tapes
  • VHS tapes
  • Magazines more than 1-year old
  • Encyclopedias
  • Reader’s Digest condensed books
  • Mass market (typically 4.25 x 6.87” pocket size) paperbacks more than 5-years old or that are not in excellent condition
  • Vinyl records
  • Damaged or moldy materials
  • Used textbooks or materials with highlighting or handwriting (except author-signed books).

Delivering Donations to the Library

Please bring donations to the Main Library and place them inside the Donations Room on the right, inside the Arapahoe entrance (see the photo). If you are donating a few items, slide them into the donations slot in the wall. If you are donating bags or boxes of materials, enter the Donations Room and place them on the cart in the room.

Do not place donated materials in the book returns or leave them at the Branch Libraries because of storage space limitations.

Donations are Tax-Deductible

At your request, library staff will provide you with a letter of receipt that you may fill out for tax purposes. The library staff is not qualified to determine the value of your donation. It will be up to you to assign a value for tax purposes. Letters of receipt may be obtained at the accounts desk inside the Arapahoe entrance of the Main Library.

Large Donations (more than 10 boxes)

If you have a large number of boxes of materials that you wish to donate, please contact us at 303-441-3100 or [email protected] with the quantity and a description of the materials. Donated items are evaluated with care and we have limited storage space for materials while they wait to be processed.

A staff person will contact you promptly to let you know if the library is able to accept a large donation at the time you wish to bring in the materials.

What does the Boulder Public Library do with material donations?

The library may sell donated items at the Paper & Spine Used Bookstore, book sales, and through third-party sources. Donated materials the library cannot sell are recycled. The money raised through sales funds the volunteer program, special projects, and/or the purchase of library materials. Donated materials are not added to the library collection.

What can I do with materials the library cannot accept?

Recycle! Reuse!
Many thrift stores and used bookstores accept books and other materials as donations. Be sure to call ahead for information about what materials are accepted. The Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM) also accepts materials for recycling.

Approved by the Library Commission on December 1, 2021.