Request for Proposals: Shelf Help 2018

Boston Book Festival is once again reaching out to the Greater Boston community to help us implement our annual Shelf Help partnership. We know that many elementary schools lack the resources to fully stock their school libraries with contemporary, high-quality books. We want to help expand one school library book collection, and then we will work with the Wondermore organization to coordinate a children’s book author or illustrator visit to share the wonders of book creation with young readers!

Last year, as part of the Shelf Help partnership, the Boston Book Festival, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Penguin Young Readers, HarperCollins and Candlewick Press donated books to the Curley K-8 School in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Pam Yosca, the co-chair of the Curley Library Committee, writes, “Our partnership with the Boston Book Festival and Wondermore through Shelf Help launched the reopening of the Curley K-8 School Library. Caldecott Medalist Javaka Steptoe’s insightful and entertaining presentation was the inaugural author visit in the library, and was a wonderful community event. We are so grateful to BBF for securing dozens of brand new, high quality books for our students and teachers, and for highlighting the importance of libraries in our public schools.”

Again in 2018, Shelf Help will partner with one K-8 school library, providing a donation of new books near the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. We will be collecting donations at the tenth annual Boston Book Festival on October 13th.

If you know a library professional at a school that needs some Shelf Help, please forward them this RFP, which has links to a short online or downloadable application. All proposals are due by May 302018.

You can also lend direct “Shelf Help” to the Boston community! If you would like to donate a book, please come to the Boston Book Festival on October 13 and look out for our information booth, or you can donate through our online book wish list. Email us at to receive a link to the “Shelf Help” donation site. If you would prefer to make a cash donation, please visit our donate page. Upon checking out, select “Make this a gift” and designate “Shelf Help” as the gift recipient in the appropriate box.

With “Shelf Help,” we aim to support students’ discovery and expression of their voices through access to an increased selection of books within their school environment. Words have power to motivate and provoke all readers to discover themselves and their place in the world, and we hope that Shelf Help will encourage students to view themselves as literary explorers!

Share this post: