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Book Nook Project

Book Nook Project is a project of United Way of North Central Florida. It’s an idea modeled after the Bright Red Bookshelf project started in Ithaca, NY, in 1997 ( The main purpose of the program is to promote literacy in the community through placement of bookshelves in a variety of local areas that are accessible to children and families. The bookshelves are stocked with gently used books, and they are free for families to take. Books are replenished through local book drives done by the sponsoring organizations.

The main goal of this program is to increase reading proficiency. Poverty is a significant challenge affecting a large percentage of families in Alachua County, and it is difficult for parents to read to their children every night when they are working multiple jobs to be able to meet their daily expenses. This is an easy way of introducing reading to families that may not have it as a priority or cannot afford to purchase books. It is also an effective way for an organization to engage in a meaningful volunteer effort and give back to its community.

Included in this manual is a step-by-step process on how to effectively implement this program as a way to practice corporate social responsibility for your organization.

Program Basics

The bookshelf is the cornerstone of the program. The essential components for each Book Nook are:

  • Bookshelves may be built or purchased by the organization and can be painted any color. This is helpful if your organization has a specific logo color that they would like represented in the community. 

  • The bookshelf also must contain the logos of the United Way of North Central Florida, and your organizational logo may also be displayed. UWNCFL will provide each sponsor with decals with the UWNCFL logo.

  • UWNCFL has book labels to insert into the books, and each sponsoring organization can also put their label in the donated books.

Collection and Storage of Books

The organization sponsoring the bookshelf and donating it into the community is responsible for maintaining the bookshelf and ensuring it is stocked with books. UWNCFL will help with book storage and book drives and providing volunteers for sorting if needed, but the majority of the responsibility lies with the sponsor organization. UWNCFL will establish a site contact at the location where the bookshelf will be placed, and this individual will report to UWNCFL when the books are running low. 


We are no longer collecting books for the Book Nook project. 

For more information on the Book Nook Project or where to donate, please contact Norinda Yancey at 352-333-0842, or email