Library of Congress Surplus Books Program


The Library of Congress has available at all times, for donation to eligible organizations and institutions, surplus books which are not needed for the Library's own uses. Eligible organizations and institutions must be located in the United States and fall into one of the following categories:

  • Full-time, tax-supported or nonprofit educational institution: school, school system, college, university, museum, or public library.
  • Agency of local, state, or federal government.
  • Nonprofit institution or organization that has tax-exempt status under the provisions of section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (see 41 CFR 101-44.207 (a)(17)) and that operates a library and/or research center open to the public.

The guiding principle behind the program is to build library collections - not to raise funds for institutions or organizations.

Organizations from outside the area may designate a local individual to act on its behalf. Library of Congress staff members, though, are prohibited from making selections on behalf of participating organizations.

How to Apply

Eligible organizations and institutions may apply to participate in the Surplus Books Program by submitting a completed and signed Application to Participate form and a brief letter on the organization’s or institution’s letterhead stationery requesting approval for participation. Here are links to:

Guidelines and Application Instructions

Application to Participate

A sample letter

The Surplus Books Program is located in room LM-B03, of the Library of Congress Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E.,Washington, D.C. Hours of operation are 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.