Books can never be trash but simply one outgrows them and moves onto the next set. There will be 1000s more who can enjoy the book. That has been our first principle – reuse and share this treasure. Giving used books a new home, reader and purpose seemed like a wonderful way to collect and distribute books.
We source gently used books through book donation drives in the US. Friends of JoR sponsor book drives among family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. We also source books from thrift stores, schools, and libraries.
Once collected, donated books are then sorted. After checking on condition, the books are leveled by degree of reading difficulty.
We involve local community members in our sorting events including school kids, scout troops, families, etc. During the Giving Campaign at Microsoft, we conduct book sorting events for employees to help out as a group.
For leveling the books, we use the GROW BY reading program by Hippocampus, which guides children in reading books at their skill levels in a self-paced program. It has helped children in rural areas and worked really well for children studying in non-English medium schools.
We transport books from the US to India with the help of various members of the community who travel to India on business or to visit family. These volunteers have carried books as part of their personal luggage.
Once they arrive in India, the books are sent to our central library in Hyderabad.