Receive free books from Bernie’s Book Bank

Bernie’s Book Bank is the logistical bridge between where books are today and are no longer being used, to where they are not and are desperately needed.

The objective of Bernie’s Book Bank is to support the hard work being done in schools to improve literacy by insuring that children have books to read at home.

In providing a quantity of books to every child, annually, we not only provide them with reading material to fuel their love for reading, but create “book ambassadors” for a lifetime. It has been said that an abundance of books in the home is more important than both parents’ educational levels.


Bernie’s Book Bank distribution partners are schools and organizations that serve large populations of under-served children in Chicagoland. Schools in which 40% or more of the students are enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program and/or are receiving whole school Title 1 grant funds from the state are eligible to receive books for ALL students at the school.

Every child who attends a qualified school receives two bags of books from Bernie’s Book Bank every academic year, through 6th grade. Each bag contains six “just right,” age-appropriate books.

The book distribution process is designed to be efficient and easy for educators. Books arrive at the school in “distribution-ready” bags, organized by grade level. The bags are delivered quickly and do not create a disturbance in the school.


Bernie’s Book Bank serves infants, toddlers and pre-school age children through programs specifically supporting children under the age of six from low-income families throughout Chicagoland.

These ‘Under 6’ programs, including the Angel Harvey Infant Welfare Society of Chicago and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), mostly provide pediatric healthcare, dental care, nourishment, counseling and/or other resources to the children.

Through our U6 distribution program, children receive twelve quality books per year that they receive during their visit(s) to the U6 site. The objective of this program is to increase interaction with books among under-served infants and toddlers, enhancing their chances of being kindergarten-ready and achieving long-term academic success. Unfortunately, 50% of children from low-income communities start 1st grade up to two years behind their peers.


If your school or U6 organization does not meet the requirements listed above, you may still fill out an inquiry form. There are exceptions to these requirements and each situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Please note, at this time there is a waiting list for partnership. 

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Bernie’s Book Bank is the leading provider of quality books to under-served children in the Chicagoland area.

Bernie’s Book Bank plays a crucial role in instilling a love for books and reading in our students.  Many of our students do not have adequate access to quality books and Bernie’s Book Bank has helped to supplement this need.  Our students beam with excitement every time they receive their bag of books!

Brian Carr

Principal, Hyde Park School