Totally Equity Now organizes two volunteer-led Literacy Across Harlem book drives each a year. Since July 2012, we have collected and distributed close to 15,000 new and like-new books in partnership with local small businesses, nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, faith-based institutions, and individual community members. Book recipients include families living in Harlem-based homeless shelters, formerly incarcerated women with young children, and victims of domestic violence.

It’s simple: we help Harlemites share literacy resources with other Harlemites so that our entire community can enjoy the invaluable gift of reading . . . and grow together.



DECEMBER 6-15, 2017

Total Equity Now has teamed up with the amazing book-donation-site partners below to help Harlemites give the gift of reading this holiday season!

Cafe One

1619 Amsterdam Ave. (at 140th)

El Museo del Barrio

1230 5th Ave. (between 104th and 105th)

Hamilton Grange Library

503 W. 145th St. (between Broadway and Amsterdam)

Harlem YMCA

180 W. 135th St. (between 7th and Lenox)

Make My Cake

121 St. Nicholas Ave. (at 116th)

Sisters Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center

1942 Amsterdam Ave. (at 156th)

Teachers College, Columbia University

525 W. 120th St. (between Broadway and Amsterdam)

Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis – Zankel Hall, Room 212

Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs – Zankel Hall, Room 128

The City College of New York – Program in Premedical Studies

160 Convent Ave. (at 138th), Marshak Science Building, Room 106

The Riverside Church – Mission and Social Justice Commission

91 Claremont Ave. (between 120th and 122nd), Gift Shop


During our 5th Annual Literacy Across Harlem Holiday Drive, in 2016, our all-volunteer team collected, sorted, and delivered 2,343 new and like-new books in time for the holidays!


Media Coverage of Our Holiday Book Drives:

El Diario – December 6, 2013
Excerpt: “Las paginas de un libro son la puerta al conocimiento, la imaginación y la creatividad. La lectura es un regalo para toda la vida,” dijo Michelle Cruz, propietaria de East Harlem Cafe, en la calle 104 y la avenida Lexington. Los negocios que logren colectar la mayor cantidad de textos recibirán un reconocimiento especial. La Casa Azul Bookstore y la escuela Silberman de Hunter College, en la zona, también están colaborando en la cruzada por la lectura.      


Excerpt: “The second annual Literacy Across Harlem Holiday Book Drive is here. All 11 decorated book-donation boxes have been delivered to the sites participating in this year’s holiday book drive. Over the next three weeks, Harlemites are being asked to fill them with hundreds of “new and like-new reading gifts.”


NY Daily News – December 10, 2012
“Total Equity Now ‘Literacy Across Harlem’ book drive aims to spread word(s) to children in time for holidays”
Excerpt: “The love of literature that fueled the Harlem Renaissance and inspired great works of art in the 1920s and ’30s is alive and well and being recaptured as the first Literacy Across Harlem Holiday book drive gets under way. Customers in cafes, bakeries and bookstores, and visitors to three uptown community boards are being urged to donate new and “like-new” books that will be distributed as Christmas gifts to the neighborhood’s neediest kids and families.”