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Outside the new location of Bernie’s Book Bank in Lake Bluff, 20 Boy Scouts from Troop 48 raised the American flag on a recent Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, inside the new facility at 917 North Shore Drive, book processing was moving even faster than at the previous location in Lake Forest.

“We did more than 1.5 million books last year,” said founder Brian Floriani. “This year, the plan is to do over 2.5 million books.”

Bernie’s Book Bank collects, processes and distributes new and gently used books to 110,000 low-income children in the Chicago-metropolitan area. From birth to sixth grade, the nonprofit distributes 12 books per year per child, according to data from the organization.

From 2011 through most of 2015, Bernie’s Book Bank occupied a 5,000-square foot facility in Lake Forest. There was room for about 30 pallets of books – about 3,000 to 5,000 books per pallet – at any given time and about 30 volunteers, Floriani said.

He said the small staff was squeezed into an office in front and checking in volunteers in the small lobby was time-consuming.

“In the old space, everything was on top of each other,” Floriani said.

Last month, Bernie’s Book Bank moved into its new location, a 35,000 square foot facility in Lake Bluff. With two loading docks and much more space, they can sort, label and pack up to 600 pallets of books at any time.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune to learn more about our new location!