PLATINUM2024

Access Books

With literacy and access for all

Los Angeles, CA   |  http://www.accessbooks.net

Mission

Libraries, especially in poor, urban areas have been long neglected. This problem is particularly acute in California, which has ranked near the bottom in library funding for more than 35 years. Some schools have as little as 3 books per child and these books are old and outdated. In the absence of poverty, the quality of the school library is the best predictor of reading scores. There is a huge disparity among children in access to books. Affluent children have more books at home, better public libraries and, often go to schools with better school and classroom libraries. So many children in inner-city schools simply do not have anything to read. ACCESS BOOKS is changing that one library at a time.

Ruling year info

1999

Principal Officer

Dr. Rebecca J Constantino

Program officer

Ms. Lorri Kampfner

Main address

PO Box 64951

Los Angeles, CA 90064 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

31-1655018

NTEE code info

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Access Books makes access to plenty of good books attainable for children living in impoverished areas throughout Los Angeles.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Books for Children Living in Poverty

We create beautiful school libraries by removing old, tattered, irrelevant books and replacing them with thousands of new, hardcover, popular, culturally relevant books. In addition, we donate brand new reading furniture and rugs and paint literacy themed murals in and around the library. We sponsor Meet the Author school assemblies where children interact with an author. Each student gets a signed copy of the authors book to keep. Our after school book clubs give students a chance to read together for fun and offers students who stay late on school yards something interesting and constructive to do with their time. These clubs also serve to reinforce reading for pleasure and promotes a pro-literacy culture for schools. Our family literacy workshops help caregivers support their child's reading at home. Book bundle give aways give students a chance to build their own home libraries and keeps them reading during winter and summer vacations.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Los Angeles Times Innovator Award 2023

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Books for Children Living in Poverty

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of family members participating in school activities

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Books for Children Living in Poverty

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of students who demonstrate improved overall literacy

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Books for Children Living in Poverty

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Books for Children Living in Poverty

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Library Program Goals

To fully stock 20 inner city school libraries each year
To match affluent school communities with high need school communities around the love of reading
To encourage children to read more by having more to read
To engage community volunteers to support early childhood literacy
To make sure that children in underserved neighborhoods have access to plenty of good, high interest, culturally relevant books

Support Program Goals

To help parents work with their children to improve their reading skills
To create opportunities for low-income students to receive their own books to build their own home libraries
To create opportunities for children to gather socially around the love of reading
To expose children to the careers of writers who have chosen to write childrens books for a living
To give at risk children something pleasant, positive and constructive to do with their extra time after school
To reinforce the benefits of reading for pleasure

Access Books has been refurbishing school libraries in low income neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles for nearly 25 years. In addition to upgrading libraries, we offer schools a variety of different literacy programs to keep students engaged in reading for pleasure author visits, book give aways, after school book clubs, reading events, and literacy workshops for parents. All of these programs enrich a childs reading experience, benefitting them in ways that last a lifetime. Our goal is to make life long readers out of kids who have been denied access to plentiful reading material due to poverty.

Schools have been applying to Access Books for new books for their libraries for 25 years. After they fill out an online application they are reviewed and a site visit is scheduled. If they meet our criteria, they our put on a waiting list until funding is secured to refurbish their library. Since 1999, Access Books has donated well over 2.3 million books to over 400 libraries.

Access Books is the only organization in all of Los Angeles doing this kind of work. We have long standing, established relationships with administrators, teachers, schools, school districts, donors, and community leaders all over the Los Angeles area. As there are over 60 school districts throughout Los Angeles County (LAUSD alone has 1,000 schools) the need for our services and programs is always constant.


Over 2.3 million books donated
Over 400 schools and community centers served
Over 295,000 students served
Founder/Executive Director is the recipient of the Oprah Angel Award, the CNN Hero Award, and the Childrens Literature Council Award for her contribution to childrens literature.
Refurbished 2 libraries in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria destroyed them and created one library in a special needs school in Mexico
10 libraries created from scratch
Los Angeles Innovator Award 2023
Created an emergency program to keep students reading during the pandemic by donating 215,000 books in quarantine book bundles for over 7,000 students to keep

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Access Books
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Access Books

Board of directors
as of 03/29/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Shelly Wood

Grandview Foundation

Term: 2019 - 2025

Gail Fishvogt

South Bay Physical Therapy

Kavita Amar

New Line Cinema

Steven Sines

Pacific Grand Builders

Jill Casselman

United States Department of Justice

M.E. Loree

actress

Shelly Wood

Non profit manager

shelly wood

grandview foundation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/13/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/08/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.