Access Books (Los Angeles, CA)


  • Name:Meghan Gaynor
  • Title:Library Program Director

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Access Books
  • Address:P.O. Box 64951
    Los Angeles, CA 90064
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:310-284-3452
  • Main fax:310-837-3564

Organization Web

User Phone

  • Mobile phone:323-420-5850

User Email


Click map for a full size active view.


  • Mission:
  • Our mission is twofold: to provide high-interest reading material to underserved children in the greater Los Angeles area, and to provide a warm and welcoming school or community library. In this process, different communities work together around the love of books.

    We provide books to schools that have a high population of children receiving Title I funds (at least 90 percent) and most live in underserved communities such as Watts, South Central, Compton, parts of the Valley and East Los Angeles. Most students at the schools we serve are children of color and children of immigrants living at or near the poverty line. While our goal is to provide literacy opportunities for disadvantaged students, we also promote leadership and community involvement among more privileged children.

  • History:
  • Access Books was formed in 1999 based on research that shows you learn to read by reading, but first you must have something to read (Krashen, 1993, 2003). While conducting research for her Ph.D. dissertation, the founder of Access Books, Rebecca Constantino, visited schools in both affluent and poor neighborhoods. She found that students in wealthy areas had access to more books in their home than poor children had in their home, classroom, school and public library combined (Constantino,, 1997, Constantino, 2007). She also found that in some affluent schools, good quality books were discarded on a regular basis, making room for new ones. Thus, Access Books was born.

    Access Books has donated more than a million books to school and community libraries in the greater Los Angeles area. Each year, approximately 18,000 pre-kindergarten through middle school-aged children participate in Access Books, our emphasis being on grades K-5.

    Access Books was created to address the great need among inner-city and underserved children for reading material. Research indicates that the best predictor of reading ability is access to books, and in poverty-ridden areas, the quality of the school library is the best predictor of reading achievement (McQuillan, 2000, Allington, 2009). For the past 30 years in California, school library funding has been ignored, resulting in neglected and pitiful libraries. Many schools have books that are outdated (as old as the 1950s), tattered and uninteresting. We have culled from shelves books such as Taming the Savage Negro and When Man Will Go to the Moon. Unfortunately, California ranks last in the nation in funding for school libraries, spending less than one dollar per child. The American School Library research data clearly shows that students with access to school libraries and good books score higher in state reading scores and are more interested in reading.

    Sadly, children in underserved areas have little, if any, access to books at home or in their public library. In some cases, they must wait up to nine months for a popular book to become available in their library. In many affluent areas, however, children have access to books in the home as well as their school libraries because in-house fundraising can provide for great libraries. This means affluent children gain all the academic benefits of access to books, but more importantly, they gain access to the joys that reading and books can bring. Poor children, meanwhile, are left without anything to read. In Los Angeles, the budget crisis compounds this problem. Los Angeles Public Library branches are closing, reducing their hours and cutting staff. LAUSD has issued pink slips to all of the district's teacher-librarians. Without access to books in school or public libraries, disadvantaged children have even fewer avenues to literacy.

    The School Library Association recommends 25 books per student, and nationally, school libraries average 22 books per student (CDE, 2005). Here in California, the average number of school library books per student (grades K-12) is 17.9. The schools served by Access Books, however, average six books per student.

    To illustrate the disparity in our community, Kenter Elementary School in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles has a beautiful free standing school library, built with parental raised funds. The library serves 450 students and has a collection of about 9,000 volumes. The titles are current and up to date. Students at Kenter also have access to home libraries and a nearby public library. The closest bookstore is a few short miles. Conversely, King Elementary School in Compton has 500 students and a collection of 3,000 titles. There is no neighborhood bookstore.

  • Year established:1999
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:6
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:3


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:31-1655018

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:311655018
  • Organization Name:ACCESS BOOKS
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:
  • Organization Address:PO BOX 64951
  • Organization City:LOS ANGELES
  • Organization State:CA
  • Organization Zip:90064-0951
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):2
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Educational Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:July, 1999
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general publicĀ 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:December, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:December
  • NTEE Code:B70
  • Asset Amount:$83,606
  • Asset Code:3 ($25,000 - $99,999)
  • Income Amount:$277,297
  • Income Code:4 ($100,000 - $499,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$277,297
  • Last Updated:3/20/2018 10:18:47 am

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.