About Books for Asia
For more than fifty years, Books for Asia has been one of The Asia Foundation's best-known and most-beloved programs. We have sent over 45 million books, software programs, and other education material to a wide range of learning institutions since 1954. Our donations help enhance English-language skills, sharpen vocational and research skills, build knowledge in the business, legal, and science professions, and infuse children with an early love of reading that is critical to literacy.
Books for Asia/The Asia Foundation
2490 Verna Court
San Leandro, CA 94577
Why English-language books?
We specialize in providing access to English-language publications that are in great demand but are either unavailable or prohibitively expensive in developing countries. Many students study English as a way to access greater opportunities and information about the world around them. In fact, 80% of Internet content is shared in English and much of the world's cutting-edge research is published first in English. Books for Asia also donates local-language books wherever they are available.
How Do We Work?
Books for Asia collaborates with publishers and authors to accept donations of brand-new textbooks and children's books across a wide range of in-demand subject areas. Book donations are matched with the needs of each country. They are carefully tracked and monitored using an inventory database from the time they are received in our San Francisco Bay Area warehouse, sent in container ships across the Pacific Ocean, and distributed to recipient institutions. Our in-country staff make regular site visits to ensure donated materials are secure and well-utilized. Books for Asia representatives have excellent relationships with local educators, librarians, research professionals, and grassroots organizations, which allows us to distribute educational material to some of the most remote and conflict-ridden areas in Asia.
Books for Asia is grateful for the generosity of its partner publishers, individuals donors, and public and private partners.
Click here for a list of Books for Asia donors.
Read what our book recipients and donors have to say about us:
"My introduction to The Asia Foundation goes way back when I was still a student in Dhaka University, in the late 1950s.... We would line up in the library to get a copy of the book and it [was] not available because the library didn't have many copies. And then suddenly we got lots of these copies, almost each one of us got one copy of that book—textbooks that we [were] just looking for."
— Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank & 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner
"The students of Rabia-e-Balkhi Girls High School are using the books donated by The Asia Foundation's Books for Asia Program every day. [These books] are enriching the girls' studies."
— Principal of Rabia-e-Balkhi Girls High School, Afghanistan
"Books are passports to learning and knowledge and the bridges to development and progress. I saw at once the invaluable contribution The Asia Foundation could give in the laying of a strong foundation for a stable Asia and the ... rule of law."
— Hilario G. Davide Jr., Former Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines
"We have received 3,000 books from The Asia Foundation that enabled us to create our MBA programs. The support from The Asia Foundation is very significant for the Hanoi School of Business because those books are two-thirds of our total books."
— Truong Gia Binh, Dean, Hanoi School of Business