We have two missions. The first mission of The Free Book Bus is to enable all children and young people to have a home library. Our primary focus is children and young adults who cannot easily afford and/or access books in Charlottesville, Albemarle, Nelson, and surrounding areas.
Our secondary focus is encouragement of reading for all. Everyone is welcome to visit The Free Book Bus!
Yes. The Free Book Bus has been a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit since 2018.
Yes, the bus is insured. We have a commercial auto policy through Progressive and a general liability policy through Auto-Owners Insurance. Our financial statements are posted or available by request. Please click the button below to see them.
Yes! Please get in touch if you would like to volunteer.
Check out our "Scheduled stops" page!
The Free Book Bus primarily goes to places like food pantries, shelters, community organizations, and Title One schools where many kids have barriers to accessing and/or affording books. The Free Book Bus attends some public events, such as events at Ix Park. We do not take the bus to events that charge admission, unless funds are being raised for a nonprofit or charity; these events are decided on a case by case basis. The Free Book Bus sometimes attends neighborhood events, but the event must be open to the public (or in a neighborhood that fits our mission). The Free Book Bus does not attend events or locations that endorse a specific religion, with the exception of PACEM shelters, although we often attend community events held at churches. We attend certain parties hosted by organizations we work with, but we do not take the bus to parties at private homes unless it is a fundraiser for the bus. (We occasionally take the bus to a club or organization to show people the bus and to talk about our mission). We'd love to hear about your event - please get in touch if you have questions!
The book bus board of directors has made some changes to our school visit policy. We are phasing out most school-wide visits due to increasing requests and the impact on our book supply and schedule. With more and more requests for school visits, we are finding that it's not equitable to say "yes" to some schools and "no" to others that are larger and require additional visit days and books. The Free Book Bus is a tiny, mostly volunteer nonprofit, and it is challenging to fairly serve all of the schools that want us to visit. The book bus will continue to focus on the neighborhood visits that are already on our schedule, and ones that are suggested to us. We are open to suggestions to reach kids and neighborhoods that would benefit from book bus visits.
The book bus is still doing visits to certain smaller school events (for example, a family night for ESOL students), and specific classes as recommended by school staff. If this is something you would be interested in for your school, please let us know.
We are currently accepting book donations, but only in certain categories. We can only accept books in excellent/like new condition. We are usually accepting: board books, hardcover picture books, anime/manga, graphic novels (things like Wimpy Kid, and older graphic novels), Mo Willems, most comic books, and books about popular categories like vehicles, dinosaurs, robots, mermaids and princesses. It is easiest for us if you can drop off. Monetary donations to buy books and gas for the bus are also welcome at any time. You can use the PayPal button to donate or send a check. You can also gift books to the bus using our Amazon wish list - this is a great source for books that are difficult to find, such as Spanish, French, Pashto, and Arabic books. Please see our Amazon wish list to find out more.
Yes! We recently created multiple wishlists on the website Bookshop.org. Here are links to our wishlists: