Bernie's Book Bank

Cause Area

  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Education & Literacy


917 N Shore DriveLake Bluff, IL 60044 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Bernie’s Book Bank sources, processes and distributes quality new and gently used children’s books to significantly increase book ownership among under-served infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout Chicagoland.


Reading is the single most important skill a child needs to learn. Yet studies show that 61% of low-income families don't have any books at all in their homes for their children.

Bernie's Book Bank is the logistical bridge between where books are today, and are no longer being used, to where they are not, but are desperately needed. We do three things exceptionally well: we collect hundreds of thousands of new and gently used books; we process them into collections of six age-appropriate and leveled books; and we deliver them directly into the hands of low-income children who have none of their own.

With a sense of urgency, we've taken the guesswork out of what to do with outgrown children's books.

Bernie's Book Bank is changing that trajectory today for more than 275,000 children in Chicago and its suburbs. Each child we serve receives a bag of books every year. The books are theirs to keep at home forever.

As our community's children's book bank, and a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization, we rely on donations of books, volunteers and funding! We have distributed over 20 MILLION books since 2009 and are growing rapidly to serve every under-served child in Chicagoland, and then to expand to other major cities in America.


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