Book First

Give for Sacramento Kids on Big Day of Giving

Inspire the love of reading in a child and give them a gift that will last a lifetime. It starts with one book. A book can take you anywhere – transport you to faraway places, ignite your imagination, introduce you to new perspectives, and challenge you.

What will my gift do?
Your donation will put books into the hands of kids in our highest need schools, inspire a love of reading, and help connect children to the library at a critical time in their development. Your support makes the Library’s annual Summer Reading challenge and Book First program possible community-wide. Having access to books empowers children to read what they love and further their learning journey. 

This year our goal is to support 14,000 students in 550 classrooms during the 2023-2024 school year through Book First and to reach and support 25,000 youth readers through Summer Reading.

Make a difference for Sacramento kids on Big Day of Giving with a gift to Friends of the Sacramento Public LibraryEven a small gift makes a big difference to a young reader.
$25 = Books to support 8 readers
$75 = Books for 25 readers (1 classroom)
$200 = Books for 60 readers
$365 = One dollar a day for a year to help spark the joy of reading
$500 = Book giveaway for 1 youth outreach event

What is Book First?
Each year, Sacramento Public Library and the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library team up to visit classrooms and put a book in the hand of first graders in our highest-need schools in Sacramento County. For many students, this book they take home is their very first book. The Book First program helps sparks the joy of reading. One book is the first step to building a home library, providing children with access to books they love, helping them become confident and enthusiastic readers and fueling their potential. 

Since 2016, we’ve provided books to nearly 100,000 kids in our region. The pandemic never stopped us from continuing Book First. This school year, we delivered 28,000 books for first graders in 181 schools. We also brought the library to hundreds of classrooms through virtual visits. The Book First philosophy continues beyond the school year through the library’s extensive collection of beginning reader books and our annual Summer Reading Challenge that helps to strengthen reading skills. 

What is Summer Reading?
While we work with students all school year, summer is a great time to let kids take the lead in their learning journey and let go of expectations around reading level. Dive into a good read with Sacramento Public Library’s annual Summer Reading challenge starting in June. Kids can log books they’ve read to earn prizes and find quality programming. Summer Reading fuels the learning and imagination of our community.

What can one book do?
One book can inspire a lifelong love of reading, which is foundational to a child’s personal and academic development. It is a gift that tells them, “I am a reader.”

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? 

Friends of Sacramento Public LibraryFriends of Sacramento Public Library (Friends) is the only official non-profit fundraising partner of Sacramento Public Library.

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?

The Big Day of Giving takes place on May 5, 2022. Learn more by following the Sacramento Community Regional Foundation.

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