Our 35 Year History

Marilyn Nemzer, Founder of The Book Exchange in San Rafael, CA

The Book Exchange (formerly Global Book Exchange) was started over 35 years ago by Executive Director Marilyn Nemzer as an environmentally conscious alternative to the landfill for local schools and libraries. Over the years, more than 1 million donated books have been provided to local school children, teachers, families and non profits, as well as to schools and orphanages in over 40 countries around the world!

In recent years, the focus has shifted primarily to serving children from Marin’s Title 1 schools. We bring the students on class field trips to our facility, where our volunteers help them choose a bag full of free books to take home. We also provide free or low cost books to teachers for their use in the classroom, as well as providing books to other non profit organizations serving under-resourced communities.

The Book Exchange is still an all volunteer organization, so any donations and revenues go directly to our mission of promoting child literacy, encouraging a love of reading, and working to ensure that all children have access to books. Below are photos of some of our wonderful volunteers from over the years.

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