Laundromat Literacy

Current Locations

The Wash House
3700 Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC, 27707

Regency Cleaners & Laundromat
3912 University Drive
Durham, NC, 27707

1933 Holloway Street
Durham, NC, 27703

3811 N Duke St,
Durham, NC 27704

3600 Hillsborough Road
Durham, NC, 27705

904 Ninth Street
Durham NC, 27705

Durham Laundry Land
2000 Avondale Drive
Durham, NC, 27704


Because Learning Happens Everywhere

Picture this: it’s Saturday morning in a downtown Durham neighborhood. A mom, her seven-year-old son, and four-year-old daughter take the bus to a laundromat where they spend two hours each week in what could be a hum-drum and boring cycle. But not for this family. “I love coming here!” shouts the boy as he leaps into the laundromat, scoring a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid to take home and keep forever, his little sister skipping behind him.

In this laundromat, a routine chore is transformed into a book-filled, literacy-rich adventure. The time while their laundry spins passes quickly; they leave with their laundry basket full of clean clothes and a dozen books they’ve selected from brimming shelves, to fuel their bedtime stories until they return in a week.

Book Harvest's Laundromat initiative exemplifies the community partnerships we have created to accomplish an audacious goal: to remove ALL obstacles to literacy for children in our midst, beginning in the ordinary and informal settings that characterize our neighborhoods and starting with families as soon as their children are born.

We maintain bookshelves filled with free children’s books that are available any time the laundromats are open; children are invited to choose an unlimited number of books from these shelves to take home and keep forever.

The launch of this program was made possible with a generous grant from the Triangle Learning Network and in partnership with Libraries Without Borders, The LaundryCares Foundation, and Too Small to Fail.

Read the exciting research conducted by Dr. Susan Neuman, Professor of Childhood and Literacy
Education at New York University, demonstrating that the laundromat can serve as an important environment for early literacy development.

Read the feature article on the front page of The News and Observer about our work in laundromats and the national laundry and literacy movement.

Want to learn more about our partnership with laundromats? Contact Book Access Manager, Caitlyn Bergmann, at or (252) 497-BOOK. You can also download a pdf of our one-page report.