IBB, Sabre Ship Thousands Of Donated Books Overseas
Judith Rosen -- 1/8/01

The International Book Bank, a 13-year-old nonprofit group based in Baltimore, Md., will ship 50 containers of books overseas in the fiscal year ending in March 2001. In January alone, IBB will send eight containers holding 20,000 books each to girls' schools and some nursing schools in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

"This year," said Bradley Vogt, a publishing consultant recently appointed executive director of IBB, "we've trimmed back shipments from 20-25 containers to 11 containers for CODE," a Canadian organization that sends books to Africa and is IBB's largest member. Even so, IBB will likely exceed or equal recent years' donations. In 1998-1999, IBB donated 744,928 books, valued at nearly $9 million, primarily to Africa, but also to Thailand and the Philippines.

Like the Sabre Foundation, another U.S. nonprofit that distributes books and educational materials overseas, IBB allows recipients to choose the books they need. "We get donations from publishers of new books," explained Vogt, "and we put them in a database by category." IBB donors include Addison-Wesley, John Wiley & Son, Johns Hopkins University Press and McGraw-Hill.

By donating to IBB, publishers get a double tax deduction from the IRS, Vogt said, explaining that "federal tax law allows them to deduct from their taxes all of the costs incurred in the production and manufacture of the books, plus 50% of any unrealized markup or profit, up to twice the cost."

In the coming year, Vogt hopes to receive more books and educational materials for students in primary school. For more information, contact

Meanwhile,the 31-year-old Sabre Foundation in Cambridge, Mass., received a $20,000 grant from the William H. Donner Foundation to purchase and ship 10,000 books and other educational materials for grades k-12 to Tibetan refugee schools in India. The Tibetan Children's Village, a nonprofit organization directed by Jetsun Pema, the younger sister of the Dalai Lama, will distribute the materials to 24 residential and day schools.