How do we do that?

We connect with donors in our community, readers just like you. We accept gently used books that have given joy, inspiration and sparks of imagination. In addtion, we accept donations to help fund our mission of inspiring readers across our community.

Giving back to our community

Throughout the year, we look for events that give us the chance to give out books for free, or at very little cost. In person events, like the Lake Elmo National Night Out and the Washington County Fair are our primary venues. We also donate funds, books and materials to the Washington County Library system, the Stillwater School district elementary school media centers, and pocket libraries across the community.

How can I help?

We need your help! Have well loved books looking for a new home? Donate through local business or contact us and we'll pick them up. Care about reading as much as we do? We have lots of opportunities to volunteer. Interested in supporting our mission financially? We'll be more than happy to add your donation to our funds.

About LE R

Our History

Our roots run deep in the Lake Elmo Community. Founded in 2002 as the Friends of Lake Elmo Library, our goal was to maintain a library presence in our town. As that story has evolved with the Washington County Library system, we have continued to campaign for, donate to, and volunteer for our beloved library.

Our Present

We move books

From your shelf to the next reader, we are here to help

  • Have a collection of kids books that your brilliant children have aged out of?
  • Have a personal library of books you no longer read, and want to donate back to the community?
  • Out shopping in our lovely Lake Elmo locally owned businesses and want to drop off a couple of books?

We are available for pickup (fill out the form) and are setting up donation boxes in our local businesses to make it as easy as possible.

We process books

There's literary gold in those hills

Our years of experience of working through (literally) tons of books have taught us the value of a good read. Childrens books are always kept. The current and the classics are ready to have a place on someone's nightstand. We carefully pull out those few exceptions that have seen one to many sets of hands or are just to technical or dated to be useful.

The vast majority of books are organized by topic and readied for the next event in a climate controlled environment.

We give away (a lot) of books

This is where the magic happens

Everyone gets at least one free book. If you're a child, you might get several.

At the county fair, we'll charge a nominal amount to help pay for the booth (we're a volunteer organization), but generally, the idea is to make it ridiculously easy to walk away with a new read.

Our Future

As the library has gained stronger support from Washington County, we have taken a step back to see where we might have the biggest impact in the community.

Over the past twenty years, we have seen dramatic changes in how readers get their books. Massive bookstore chains have seen their last chapter and digital venues have opened a new page in how we love the written word.

What hasn't changed is the magic of holding your own book in your own hands and reading without concern of due dates or sippy cup stains.

We see a future where readers can get books in their hands through:

  • Lake Elmo National Night Out Book Give Away
  • Washington County Fair Book Booth
  • Donations both physical and financial to county, school and other libraries
  • Pocket Libraries in Community Centers

Our Legal Status

We are a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donation is tax-deductible as allowed by law. We do business as Lake Elmo Loves Reading in the state of Minnesota.

Membership is open to anyone interested or concerned with maintaining a strong readership community in the City of Lake Elmo. For a $10 donation per year, you may become a member. Interested? Fill out the form.

We host an annual members meeting where we elect a board of directors - the board meets monthly to direct the work of the organization as we fulfill our mission of getting books into the hands of readers.

Volunteers are welcomed with open arms and hearts - we need help picking up books, processing them and then giving them away. Fill out the form to get in touch!

Contact Us