The Big Red Bookshelf


Here at Centerboard, we’ve launched a fairly new program called The Big Red Bookshelf. If you “like” us on Facebook, you’ve already seen some of our postings, but this will give you additional information and hopefully spark some interest among you!
Each week Centerboard is receiving 750-1,000 gently used children’s books from More Than Words, a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. The books we receive are sorted by our dedicated volunteers and redistributed throughout the city to elementary schools, childcare centers and other non-profits.  Our goal is to reach EVERY child in Lynn – from birth to grade 5 – with at least three books during each calendar year.  This is where we need your help!  Can you help us identify opportunities for placement of a Big Red Bookshelf? After placement, we ask that an on-site designee monitor the bookshelf. Ideally, this person – whether staff or volunteer - would straighten up the bookshelf and would be the liaison with Centerboard to let us know when more books were needed.  Currently we have the capacity to deliver 200-300 books per site on an on-call basis. We are also partnering with Lynn Tech, who will be building and painting a dozen Big Red Bookshelves for us to distribute around the city.  We are happily accepting “applications” for those bookshelves at this time as well.
We are sorting books into categories as follows:  board books, picture/story books, early readers, chapter books, and reference books (i.e. almanacs, history, geography, biographies, animals, etc. – more appropriate for a library setting).  In addition, we have some beautiful “specialty” books, specifically books in foreign languages – Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Portuguese and even Braille!  We even have some beautiful “coffee table” type books for adults on gardening, art, music and architecture.  We hope to find appropriate homes for all of these books as well. Last but not least, a task of this size requires a lot of peoplepower, so we are actively recruiting volunteers to help with the sorting of the books.  

 So, if you need books or would like to volunteer to help sort books, contact us today! Connect with Sharon at We look forward to hearing from all of you regarding your organization’s interest in participating with us.  Of course, we encourage you to reach out to other non-profits within the city who may not already be on the list, and please feel free to come by and check out OUR Big Red Bookshelf in our lobby at 16 City Hall Square, downtown Lynn!