Book Donations

The Robin Li and Melissa Ma Science Library appreciates receiving book donations from users.  Donated items allow us to replace worn out copies and to fill gaps in the collection. To determine if items you want to donate are needed, please email

Gift books are only accepted unconditionally, that is, we reserve the right to determine the disposition of donated materials. Because the Science Library has limited staffing resources, we may need your help getting items to the Science Library. We are not able to pick up materials that are located off-campus. 

Appraisals: Although we acknowledge the receipt of gifts, the Stanford Libraries are unable to provide donors with appraisals of their gifts. Please note that tax laws require donated book collections worth $5,000 or more to be appraised, even if a collection is split and given to more than one library in the same tax year. You can find an appraiser on the American Society of Appraisers website. Some members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America in the Northern California Chapter are also qualified to offer appraisals. 

Alternatives: If the Science Library does not need your items, below are some other options for giving them a new home. This table summarizes the types of materials each organization is interested in but please consult their websites for more details.

   Monographs  Textbooks  Reference books    Journals & magazines
Better World Books  OK  OK   OK  
Bridge to Asia  OK  OK   OK   
Green Street Books


Science History Institute


 OK   OK  OK 
Zubal Books  OK     OK



BetterWorldBooks: Collects and sells books online to fund literacy initiatives worldwide. For every book sold, Better World Books donates a book to someone in need, and every effort is made to ensure all books get the best new home possible. BetterWorldBooks covers shipping costs (provides mailing labels) but you have to box and send items to them. For further details, please see their Books We Accept page. 

Bridge to Asia: Provides books and other educational materials that are essential for education but too costly for most schools or scholars to afford in China.  Read more about books needed.  The Stanford Bookstore has a relationship with “Bridge to Asia,” which accepts donations. Please call the bookstore (650) 329-1217 in advance and ask for the Shipping Dept. to schedule delivering books to their loading dock. Contact Bridge to Asia directly after you have dropped off your books so they can acknowledge your gift.

Green Street Books:  Donated items are sold, and the net funds to the Foundation are used to train members of the neurodiverse community with skills to enable them to compete for good-paying jobs in E-Commerce, with Green Street Books, and other E-Commerce companies in the greater Silicon Vallery area.

Science History Institute: The Chemical Heritage Foundation is the only independent nonprofit organization in the world preserving the history of chemistry and related molecular sciences and technologies through books, papers, photographs, fine art, and instruments. Search their library catalog to see if they already own a title. To donate, please contact

Zubal Books: Offers libraries, researchers, collectors, and avid readers hard-to-find and important books in all fields. This bookseller handles individual items, small collections, and entire libraries. Zubal pays cash and removes all items at their expense (long bound runs only). For more details, please see their Sell Your Books page.