Who We Are
The Children’s Book Bank provides free books and literacy support to children living in low-income neighborhoods across Toronto. Since 2008, the Book Bank has operated a beautiful storefront space located in the Regent Park/St. James Town neighborhood which welcomes school and camp groups as well as families and their children to listen to stories, browse our collection, and choose a favorite book to take home to keep.
The Book Bank has expanded its reach and now provides additional books and literacy materials through community centres, schools, and health clinics in low-income neighbourhoods throughout the city.
In 2016, The Children’s Book Bank gave away 120,000 donated books.
What We Do
The Children’s Book Bank collects gently used children’s books from families who have finished with them and from publishers and retailers who cannot use them and distributes them through our storefront and across the city of Toronto.
A visit to The Children’s Book Bank is much like a visit to a favourite children’s bookstore, except that the books are free of charge. The Children’s Book Bank has a large inventory of beautiful books suitable for children from birth to age twelve. Families are welcome to visit as often as they wish and every child (and accompanying caregiver) can take and keep one book every day. The Children’s Book Bank is staffed by child literacy experts who assist the customers in selecting appropriate books and who provide advice.
The Children’s Book Bank also offers a variety of literacy support programs.
Mary brings a passion for books and reading, combined with a commitment to providing support for immigrants, refugees and other newcomers to her role as Executive Director.
Director of Inventory, Outreach and Communications
Roxanne is a former bookstore owner and a co-founder of StoryMobs. She’s a book lover with a flair for the dramatic. Roxanne loves tea, recommending books, and all things Harry Potter.
Manager of Programming and Volunteer Engagement
Loribeth is an editor, administrator, and lover of all things literary. She loves dressing up, reading mysteries, and recommending her childhood favourites to everyone who comes into the Book Bank.
The Children’s Book Bank was founded by a group of community volunteers in late 2007. The Children’s Book Bank is grateful to Jocelyn Barford, Kim Beatty, Willa Black, Joanne Browne, Jane Crist, Nancy Evans, Janet MacPhail, Kathy Martin, Janet Newlands, Diane Rhind, Nora Spence, and Louise Sugar.
The Children’s Book Bank acknowledges the advice and support of Carol McCabe and Nora Spence, founders of the Bookshare Program.
- Do you love working with children, have a passion for children’s literature, and an interest in social justice?
- Do you enjoy working in a storefront environment? (stocking shelves, cleaning, helping customers pick out books)
- Are you available 2-3 hours per week, for at least one year?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, we would love to have you as a volunteer! Click here to access our application form. (Please note: applicants must be at least 16 years of age.)
Interested in corporate volunteerism or temporary volunteerism (less than one year)? Please contact Loribeth Gregg for more details.
Board of Directors 2017
Kim Beatty, Founder
Lea Caragata, Professor of Sociology, Wilfrid Laurier University
Jennifer Esmail, Coordinator, Centre for Community Partnerships, University of Toronto
Janet Griffin, Corporate Director
Emily Moretti-Sain, Literacy Resource Teacher, Toronto Catholic District School Board
Patricia Sculthorpe, Community Volunteer
Christine Munroe, Author Relations Manager, Kobo
Lana Gay, Broadcaster, Indie88, Manager of A Good Book Drive Toronto
Linda Galen, Retired Educator