Step 6 - Mail or deliver your books to
our U.S. warehouse
Our book drive coordinator will email you the delivery instructions about one month before your shipping deadline. (See Pack Your Books for more information). Please send your books as close as possible to your shipping deadline, as we are charged storage fees on books that arrive at the warehouse and are waiting for shipment. Regardless of the delivery option you choose, you MUST use the mailing label that your book drive coordinator sends you. This label includes information to help the warehouse get your library to the right country, and helps our partners in-country get your library to the right school or community.
To deliver your books to our shipper's warehouse in New Orleans, Louisiana, select the delivery option below that works best for you:
- Option 1: Mail the books to the warehouse from your local United States Post Office using "Media Mail", the least expensive domestic rate for books. Most of our book drives use this option.
- At the Post Office ask for the Media Mail rate. Postage will cost $.55/lb. for a 30 lb. box, but the rate varies with the weight and size of each box. In order to ensure that boxes arrive safely in Africa, the ideal weight for one box is 35-40 pounds.
- A typical library of 1000 mostly paperback books will weigh about 400-500 pounds, so your postage costs to our shipper’s warehouse will be roughly $220-$275.
- We recommend having USPS track your boxes for an extra $1.05/box.
- To learn more about regulations and rates for Media Mail, visit the USPS website.
- Option 2: Deliver the books to the warehouse by private van or truck. That means taking a ROAD TRIP to New Orleans! The boxes must be dropped off during regular Monday - Friday office hours. The warehouse employees can assist in unloading your books.
- Option 3: If you know a FedEx employee, this company is sometimes willing to provide free shipping. This can take months to arrange, so make sure you get started in plenty of time before your shipping deadline.
- Option 4: If you have three or more libraries (3000+ books), it may be less expensive for you to hire a common carrier trucking company to take your books. Check online for a quote from companies that will compare prices from many carriers to find a good deal. Ask whether your books need to be pre-palletized and shrinkwrapped or whether the trucker can do this when they pick up the books. ALP is currently investigating options to minimize mailing expenses.
When you have mailed all your books, mail or email the Summary Worksheet (.pdf, .doc) to your book drive coordinator.
Paying your International Shipping Fee:
On the same day that you send your books to the New Orleans warehouse, regardless of your method, we ask that you also pay us the international shipping fee of $250 for each library of about 1000 books. You mail a check made out to African Library Project to: ALP Treasurer, 2110 Prospect Street, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA, or use PayPal.
Whichever method you use, be sure to include the code for your book drive or the book drive organizer's name in the memo/comment section. This fee for each library covers the international shipping and related costs to ensure the passage of your books from the New Orleans warehouse to our partners in Africa.
Notes on tax deductibility of these fees:
Domestic Shipping Costs:
- The domestic mailing cost (e.g., US Postal Service media mail expense) is tax-deductible to the person(s) who pays for the domestic shipping and has the USPS receipt. ALP cannot provide a tax-deductible receipt for this portion of your costs because ALP is not handling, paying for, or getting a receipt for the domestic shipping.
International Shipping Costs:
- The $250 per library, paid directly to the African Library Project for international shipping expenses, is tax-deductible. We will send you a thank you/receipt for this contribution.