7 Organizations Bringing Books to Underprivileged Communities


April 23, 2019, is World Book Day, which was started by UNESCO in order to bring books to children and underprivileged people.

There are plenty of great organizations and charities that share in that mission. Those of us in the book community might often take for granted that not everyone in the world has access to libraries and salaries that allow them to purchase books. These organizations work to ensure that people are given the chance to meet the world through literature.

Book Aid International

BookAid International works to bring books to communities of refugees and underfunded schools. They also provide health care and medical texts to universities and hospitals that need them.

First Book

First Book provides books to children in low-income communities. According to their website, at the time of this writing, they’ve donated 175 million books.


Worldreader provides free ebooks to people in underserved communities. Instead of providing physical books, which are more expensive, they allow people who already own a cellphone or e-reader access to hundreds of free books.


LitWorld focuses on reading and creativity. Their mission statement includes seven strengths that they encourage in the people they help: Belonging, Kindness, Curiosity, Friendship, Confidence, Courage, and Hope. They also have a blog where you can keep up with where they’re working.

Women’s Prison Book Project

The Women’s Prison Book Project began in 1994 and provides literature to women and transgender persons in prison.

Reading is Fundamental

In some communities in America, childhood literacy is shockingly low. Reading is Fundament works to increase literacy in these communities.

Books For Africa

Got a bunch of gently-used books lying around? Books for Africa takes used books and distributes them to students in need.

If you know of any other organizations that promote reading and literacy, please leave a link in the comments below so I can add them to the list.

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