Operation Warm Library Program

Warm Welcome to the Library

Operation Warm is teaming up with libraries, community partners, foundations and corporations across the country to give a brand new coat and two new books to each child who participates. This fun program will provide an opportunity to introduce kids and families living in need to all that your library branch offers beyond books.

“The week after our program, we had 100 new families join our library. 6 months later, 78% of them are still active!”
-Liz Chesney, Chicago Public Library

A Warm Welcome to the Library Impact

quick facts about the operation warm library program

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the goals of this program?

    Warm Welcome to the Library serves as a one-time event to kick off new literacy initiatives, or to invigorate long-standing programs with new energy and participants. Often the goal is to get new families enrolled in programming, and returning at regularly scheduled intervals for specific literacy initiatives.

  • What is the cost of this program?

    Funding to cover the costs of coats, books, and signage comes from grantors, foundations, or other funds raised in partnership with Operation Warm. Our staff will work with each individual library to determine the best way to make your program a reality. Often funding is a combination of both public and private donations. The typical donation required for an Operation Warm Library Program event is between $5,000-5,500.

  • Does the library have to provide event programming?

    Libraries are welcome to either create new literacy programming especially for this event, ask the community for in-kind performer donations, or tie the distribution to programming already on their fall/winter schedule.

  • How is this program evaluated?

    Operation Warm will work with individual libraries to determine program evaluation metrics, especially in cases of grant funding. By bringing families to the library and familiarizing them with the services offered, the following three objectives are the most typical areas of evaluation:

    1. Support Strong Family Development: All families are assured access to quality services and all members of the family are nurtured, encouraged and secure.

    2. Develop Healthy and Thriving Children and Youth: Children and youth are connected to community resources that help them thrive physically, socially and mentally. The concept of the library as the “community’s living room” is explored.

    3. Literacy Culture and Climate: Library orientation exposes children and families to resources such as early literacy programming, summer learning loss prevention, and national Campaign for Grade Level Reading tools. This allow parents and children to experience the life-changing impact of literacy.

How To Plan Your Warm Welcome to the Library Program

  1. Review the toolkit – Operation Warm will provide a step by step guide for the event including logistics, forms and a timeline task checklist.
  2. Start planning – Select your date and identify the children living in need that you would like to serve.
  3. Be rewarded – This event will not only bring new families into the library, but will be a joyful experience for staff and volunteers alike.


Operation Warm has received the Platinum Seal of Transparency—GuideStar’s highest level of recognition and is recognized as a top-rated nonprofit by GreatNonprofits.

Want to Learn More?

Your library can give the gift of brand new coats and a lifetime of learning. To get started, contact Allison Price.

Contact Allison