Book First

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What is Book First?

Book First is a Sacramento Public Library program that supports first grade students in becoming confident and successful readers. This year, almost 13,000 first grade students in Sacramento County will receive two books to keep to practice and grow their reading skills. Book First is made possible by the generous support of the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library.

The Book First program focuses on supporting public schools where 50% or more of the students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Librarians work with educators to visit first grade classrooms to bring books that students get to choose from and are selected to enhance classroom instruction and spark the joy of reading. For many students, the books they take home are their very first books and the first step to building a home library of their own.

We are now in the eighth year of the Book First program. Since 2016, we’ve provided books to more than 100,000 first graders in the Sacramento region. The pandemic never stopped us from continuing Book First. In the 2023-24 school year, we will deliver 26,000 books for first graders in 180 schools.

The Book First philosophy continues beyond the school year through the library’s extensive collection of beginning reader and early chapter books. As part of our classroom visits, we invite students to join us at the library to continue their learning journey. 
What students are saying:

“I get to keep this book forever? Really?"

"Wow! This is great! I don’t have many books at my house!"

"I can’t wait to read to my baby brother!"
What teachers are saying:

“Many of my students don’t have books at home and can’t get to the library.”

“Just them getting a book has a big impact. Many of my students have very few books at home to read.”

“The students still talk about, ‘Remember when we went to the library and they gave all of us a book?'" 

Have Questions?
How can I support Book First?

You can make a donation to the Friends of Sacramento Public Library, designating the funds for Book First in the special instructions. 

Who are the Friends?

The Friends of the Sacramento Public Library is the library's official fundraising partner. They advocate, raise funds and provide crucial support to the library. Learn more at

When is the Big Day of Giving?

Big Day of Giving takes place on May 2, 2024 Learn more by following the Sacramento Community Regional Foundation.

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