Friends of the Houston Public Library


The Friends of the Houston Public Library is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to fostering wider recognition, use, and support of the Houston Public Library. With support from the Friends, our Library is better able to meet the vital needs of the community.

Core Literacy Programs

The Friends processes and scans books discarded from Houston Public Library branches and donated by the community. We sell these books at our affordable quarterly book sales and all year-long on our Amazon storefront. We also recycle any damaged books through Waste Management, and offer others to local artists like the ever-creative Lee Steiner of Domestic Papers. We offer book donations to partner organizations all year long, and especially when we have a surplus of books.

The proceeds from our sales, donations, and memberships fund programs such as the Summer Reading Program for Children, ASPIRE, after school programs, and cultural programming and activities for the Houston community. We also provide annual scholarships to Houston Public Library staff, so that they may continue to cultivate the knowledge ad love that goes with being a librarian.

Friends of the Houston Public Library has:

  • Raised $2.5 million for hundreds of library programs
  • Provided over 50 scholarships to Houston Public Library staff members to pursue their Master of Library Science degree
  • Held over 100 community book sales
  • Donated over 650,000 books back into the Houston community and around the world

We welcome ALL volunteers ages 13+ to join us in achieving our mission, either at our upcoming local community book sales, or at our book warehouse where we process, sell, and donate 300,000 books a year!

Interested in volunteering as a group? The Friends welcomes large corporate, church, school, club, family groups and more. We can accommodate large groups up to 20 people for our book warehouse opportunities.

Volunteer Testimonials

The Friends of the Houston Public Library is the best recycling effort the City has going!  We get to take gently used books from the library system and put them back in the hands of book-lovers all over Houston.  Volunteering with this organization is fun, and you get to see BIG progress quickly.  Rose makes the warehouse a great place to be, and the book sales are well-loved by readers of all ages.  I especially like volunteering at the Children’s Book Sale every year!-Jan Johnson, Volunteer, Chair of Sales and Board Member-

Before volunteering to work at the book sales, I was a regular customer at the George R. Brown. So when we retired and had the opportunity to volunteer for the Friends organization I jumped at it.Initially working only at the sales, I finally had the time this past December to start to work at the warehouse.Playing with books is my idea of a good day anyway so the great people I get to work with is an added bonus. Rose certainly makes all who volunteer feel welcome and I look forward to my Tuesday stint all week.-Nancy Shape-

I enjoy volunteering with the Friends of the Houston Public Library. I consider myself a library advocate so I get satisfaction by engaging in work that benefits the HPL system. The work is a good match for my skills and interests. A nice bonus is that I have met many friendly and interesting people while volunteering at the warehouse or working a book sale.-Debbie Hall-

Through working at both book sales and the library warehouse I have met a lovely group of people. The work is varied and you get to see the journey of how most of these books make it back out into the community.-Rosemary Jackson-