Giving Library

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" Shel Silverstein, author

Every Monday through Thursday, between 4 and 7 p.m., teams of University of Michigan Health System volunteers do something truly exceptional. Armed with a mobile Mott Giving Library - a cart stocked with new books - they visit the bedside of each Mott inpatient to deliver the magic of reading. Unlike most libraries, however, patients and their families don’t need cards to borrow books and they never have to worry about due dates. When a patient takes a book out of the Giving Library - it’s for keeps!

The Giving Library supports Mott patients and their families by providing a diversion from the stresses of hospitalization via the exciting, imaginative and educational world of books. In addition, the program promotes literacy and language development by encouraging and establishing important reader-child relationships. Volunteers are happy to read to or with patients, or provide books that the patient can read alone or with parents, siblings or other visitors.

Since the Library’s inception in March 2001, thousands of books have been distributed to patients and their visiting siblings thanks to the dedication of volunteers and the generosity of financial and book donors. Because there is no limit to what books can teach or where they can take you, reading and receiving these wonderful gifts can lift a child’s spirits, give a teen respite from treatment or provide new parents with a way to bond with a critically ill infant.

How you can help the Giving Library

There are three main ways you can support and sustain the Giving Library :

Financial Donations Make a financial donation to the program. We receive a 43 percent discount off retail prices when purchasing books, so all financial contributions give us more buying power! You also can make an individual donation or organize a collection/fundraiser at your workplace, school or in your neighborhood. Make an online donation or call 734-232-5631 or e-mail giving library for more information.

Donations of new books Hold a book drive at your school, workplace, house of worship, or through a social organization or community group. Because we take care of some very sick patients, it is important that we adhere to strict infection control guidelines. As such, we can only accept donations of new books.

Book Wish List
There are certain books we can never have enough of! They are:

  • board books for babies (this is our greatest need)
  • picture books (Clifford, Dora the Explorer, Berenstein Bears, etc.)
  • popular teen (15 years old +) books
  • sports books
  • books in languages other than English
  • Harry Potter books
  • Junie B. Jones books
  • Magic Tree House books
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul for kids, preteens and teens
  • R.L. Stine Chillers

Volunteer Volunteers deliver books, socialize with patients and families, and foster one-on-one reading relationships. Giving Library volunteers bring a bit of normalcy to a hospitalized child’s life and serve as ambassadors of literacy and language skill development. To volunteer, call volunteer services at 734-936-4327.

Contact Us

Call 734-232-5631 or e-mail givinglibrary@umich.edu.