Book Donations Gladly Accepted

Are looking to pare down your home book collection? Donate your gently-used books to help fill out our collection!

What kinds of books does the library need for the collection? We are particularly seeking fiction, nonfiction, and maker books published for adult audiences in the last ten years. Other useful books for our collection are fiction by Maine authors, general nonfiction about Maine, nonfiction about labor issues, classic novels, and older maker books in good condition.

What is a maker book? A maker book is about cooking, jewelry-making, textiles, photography, writing, studio and performing arts, homesteading, boat building, pottery, architecture, design, woodworking, computing and technology, innovation, career development, gardening, and much more. If it’s about DIY, design, or creating something, it’s a maker book.

What if I donate a book, but you do not want or need it. Can I have it back? Due to staff and volunteer time limitations, donated books cannot be returned. Books not added to the collection may be sold, recycled (if in poor condition), or passed on to others.

Is my book donation tax-deductible? Yes! Book donations are tax-deductible. Please fill out this brief questionnaire to request a receipt before you drop off your books, and we’ll have a receipt ready for you. You can also request a receipt at the circulation desk when you drop off your donation.

How do I donate my books? We are located at 519 Congress Street. Drop off hours are during library open hours, which are currently Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday from 10 am – 4:30 pm. If you would prefer a no-contact drop-off, please contact the library to make arrangements. Donations can be left in the designated drop-off area in our front lobby to minimize contact. If you requested a receipt, it would be waiting for you in the donation area.

I have lots of books to donate and/or I cannot drop them off during those hours. If you are dropping off more than a box of books or need to arrange a different drop-off time, please email the library team at We cannot accept donations outside of the drop-off hours without prior scheduling. Thanks for understanding!

Please note that we cannot accept:
– Damaged books (water damage, staining, missing pages or covers, broken bindings, books with highlighted areas or notes written on the pages);
– Abridged books;
– Encyclopedias;
– Textbooks;
– Withdrawn books from other libraries;
– YA and children’s books.

Why do we want donations? Mechanics’ Hall is committed to the innovative vision of our founders, the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association: to make knowledge, ideas, and arts accessible. Founded in 1815, we are stewards of a landmark building that houses the 8th oldest membership library in the country. The library has long been the beating heart of the Hall, and in recent years significant efforts have been made to renovate and enliven the library space and invest in the library’s future. Working closely with the library collection over the last several months, we have identified the need for an infusion of newer books. Moreover, as a membership-driven library, your donations help shape and build our library collection. We hope you’ll join us in our efforts and help to preserve the future of this Portland treasure.