Old encyclopedias can be donated to local libraries, English as a second language schools, theater groups, prisons and artists. Libraries sometimes accept encyclopedia donations for their used book sales and use the profits to purchase new books.

Encyclopedias make excellent practice books for those learning English, so local ESL learning sites may be interested in donations. Local theater groups welcome donated books to use as set decorations. Because of funding cuts and inmates' limited access to computers and the Internet, state prisons and city jails are an excellent place for encyclopedia donation. Artists who create artwork by altering books often look for donations of encyclopedias and dictionaries because the books often have strong spines and gold leaf trim.