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Used book donations are no longer accepted at Portland Public Library

Portland Public Library is NO LONGER accepting donations of gently used books and DVDs at ANY BRANCH. Because used books are no longer made a part of our collection, and due to staffing considerations around COVID-19, we can no longer accept used materials. Thank you for your understanding.


Thank you for wanting to donate books to Portland Public Library (PPL). Our storage is at capacity because of the many donations made during the pandemic and we are no longer able to accept book donations. Non-profits in the Portland area who may accept these donations include Goodwill of Northern New England or the Salvation Army.

You may also consider taking a small number of used books to your neighborhood Little Free Library (Go to THIS LINK and type in Portland ME to see a map).

Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition is also accepting book donations. Please email mpacbooks@gmail.com to schedule a materials donation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Doesn’t PPL need donated books for the book sale?

Yes—but we have so many right now that we have no room to store any more.

Doesn’t PPL add donated books to the collection?

We don’t. All donated books are sent to storage for PPL’s book sale because of the resources required to sort and enter any donated books into the system.

Will PPL offer a book-store again?

We hope to re-establish a “book nook” at the Downtown Library by summer, 2022 to be open at least one day a week. We have so many books in storage right now that even after a book sale we will be able to stock a small area for used book sales.

Won’t PPL eventually run out of donated books for the book sale and book nook?

It is certainly possible, but we think we have enough donated books to stock our annual book sale for a couple of years

When PPL is accepting donations, what happens to donated materials?

Most donations are sold at PPL’s annual book sale or are sent to Better World Books, and the proceeds are used to fund library programs. We do not add donated items to our collections as each item in circulation requires intensive processing.  If you have something special or rare beyond the scope of Portland that you are hoping to preserve, please consider finding a collector or archive that may be better equipped to handle your item.

What if I have a non-book item I would like donate?

We are not accepting donations of any kind at the Library at this time.

I have an old book, map, or piece of ephemera. Would the Library be interested?

If you have items of historical significance that might be suitable for our archival collection, please call our Advancement Office at 207-871-1700, ext. 759. We can discuss the nature of your items with you to determine whether they would be appropriate for our special collection holdings.