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How It Works

How mobile is the mobile library?
The library is essentially a 2.5’ w x 3’ h bookshelf on wheels (with a door and a roof). It fits in my car, and can be wheeled incredibly easily on flat surfaces. It can get up driveways and other slight inclines. Big hills are probably not the best for it, as it is heavy with precious cargo… books! Ultimately, it is powered by me (Rachel), so wherever I choose to take it (within reason) it can make it there.
How do I check out a book?
  • Check the “Book Check Out Information” section for images and a video
  • Locate sticker with QR code (either on inside front cover or back of the book)
  • Open your cell phone camera and point it at the QR code to scan
  • Open the Google Form (docs.google.com) that pops up
  • Fill out the Google Form to check out a book, and you’re on your way!
How do I bring a book back?
Thank you for being mindful and planning to return the book so others may enjoy! You may return the book at any one of our locations on the posted date. Please look at the schedule for more information about where we will be and when we will be there.
What if I forget to bring my book back? Do you charge overdue fees?

Fee Philosophy: At BTCML we don’t believe in a punitive approach. We don’t charge late fees (or any fees). We really want you to enjoy the books, find a story that speaks to you, and teaches you something.

Please keep in mind that we run entirely on donations.

We hope to provide youth and adults NEW books that inspire them and are exciting to pick up (we all know that wonderful feeling of holding a new book in our hands; colorful book jacket art, crisp pages, that ‘new book’ smell…) Please consider donating a book to BTCML.

How can I bring the library to my neighborhood?
Thank you so much for your interest in BTCML! Right now we are operating in Castro Valley and Oakland, and this is a one woman show (for the time being!). If you would like to inquire about bringing the library to your neighborhood for a visit, please email me: bethechangelibrary@gmail.com and put “Neighborhood Inquiry: (Location)” as your subject line. I will get back to you as soon as I’m able.
Will you accept used books?
Thank you for thinking of us! We really appreciate your donation. Because of the joy and excitement new books/new titles bring to others, we have specific criteria for accepting used books.

  • Must be written, published, and/or purchased within the last 5-10 years.
  • Must be written by an author of color.
  • Must be “gently used”, this means: no torn pages, no stains on the pages or front/back book covers, and kindly, no annotations or writing in the book.
  • Ask yourself, would I be excited to pick up this book? Would my child, or a child I care for be excited to pick up this book?
What if I want to donate a book from an independent bookstore?

Awesome! Let’s definitely support indie bookstores over corporate giants with questionable morals. You can use the wish list for guidance (or if you have your own title in mind, that works too). Here’s a list of independent bookstores: indiebound.org.

What address should you send your donation to? You can locate the business address of BTCML on the “Donate” section of our website.

Be the Change Mobile Library
20885 Redwood Road #348
Castro Valley CA 94546

How to Check Out