What we accept

FOPLA raises more than $350,000 for the Ottawa Public Library each year, with most funds coming from the sale of donated used books, DVDs, CDs, and vinyl records that we re-sell in our used bookstores and sales across the city.

We gratefully accept donations, but we can only sell items that are in good condition. Books that are outdated, moldy, stained, torn, or yellowed cannot be sold. Thanks to Ottawa’s excellent recycling facilities, undesirable books can be recycled in your black bin.

To find out where to bring your donation, please click here. You can read our full Material Selection Criteria policy here.

Condition Requirements

  • Books must be free of water damage, stains, mildew or musty smells, and dirt
  • Books must not have torn or missing pages, or severe wear
  • Books must not have loose or broken bindings. Large format art, cookbooks, or coffee table books (not Canada or Royalty) with broken spines can sometimes be repaired. If they are in otherwise good condition, please donate them.
  • Books must not show signs of insect infestation or mold

Materials We Do Not Accept

  • Any books which do not meet the Condition Requirements listed above
  • Encyclopedia printed after 1930
  • Magazines
  • National Geographic magazines
  • Readers Digest condensed books or special edition books printed after 1950
  • Sheet music
  • Directories, annuals, yearbooks, reports with coils
  • Harlequin Romance books
  • Audio Cassettes and VHS Tapes
  • Any Dictionaries (Adult/Children’s, EN/FR)

Unfortunately, we are unable to sell these items. If the situation changes, we will adjust our acceptance list accordingly.

Materials We Accept

  • Trade and Mass Market paperbacks (English or French)
  • Hardcover fiction and non-fiction (English or French)
  • Children’s books (English, French, and foreign language)
  • Textbooks (must be less than 8 years old)
  • Vinyl Records

  • Computer books (must be less than 8 years old)
  • Health/ Medicine books (must be less than 8 years old)
  • Science books
  • Any French textbook (regardless of age)
  • Car Manuals (of any vintage)
  • Travel Guides that are less than 6 years old
  • Antiquarian, rare and collectible books pre-1950 (with a copyright date)
  • Large print books (any type)
  • Graphic novels and bandes dessinées
  • DVDs and Blu-ray discs
  • CDs and audio books
  • Travel guides (must be less than 6 years old) and travel writing
  • Travel writing, guides and picture books pre-1940
  • Older computer and programming books pre-1985
  • Health or medical books pre-1930
  • Dorling Kindersley (DK) Eyewitness Guides (regardless of age)
  • Old encyclopedia pre-1930
  • Readers Digest pre-1950
  • Anything unusual! We love strange old pamphlets and ephemera