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Collection Development Policies

Policies for the General and Special Collections maintained by Gumberg Library

Gifts

The library looks upon gifts as important additions to the library's collections.  Many significant items have been acquired through gift donations and have become valuable resources for the user community. It is through such generosity that the library is able to add depth to the academic resources available to our students, faculty and staff.

Due to the high cost of managing and processing gifts, the library’s goals in accepting gifts is to acquire materials that are relevant to our collections. To ensure that only needed items are added, all potential gifts will be evaluated by the Collection Management Librarian and/or the appropriate liaison(s) whenever necessary.

Potential gift items should:

  • Support the university’s current and evolving curriculum and academic disciplines.
  • Assist in sustaining the research needs of faculty and students.
  • Fill in gaps to enhance older and current collections of depth.

Materials Generally Considered Inappropriate:

  • Materials that are not in good physical condition, e.g., contain mold or mildew, torn pages, extensive highlighting, stains, and/or water damage. These are potentially harmful to existing collections.
  • Materials that require significant restoration, conservation or unique storage, unless accompanied by appropriate funding or by permission of the University Librarian.
  • Gifts which a donor places restrictions that will negatively affect the use of the materials.
  • Textbooks will be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine their long term value for the library’s overall collection.
  • Popular trade paperbacks.
  • Most print journals, unless they fill necessary gaps in our current collection.
  • Outdated, superseded titles.
  • Outdated media formats such as LPs, cassettes, etc., unless they fill necessary gaps in our current collection.
  • Photo copies/facsimiles of original materials.

Gift materials not added to the collection may be given to students, donated to other libraries, sold, or discarded.

Process for Accepting Gifts:

  • All donors should fill out a copy of the Donor Agreement Form for any items donated to the library.
  • For larger donations the donor should provide a description and a list of titles before the gift can be considered. In the absence of such documentation, the Library may require on-site evaluation of the collection by the Collection Management Librarian. If a list is not received the Library is not responsible for creating a list for the donor.
  • Gifts delivered to the library without prior arrangement should be forwarded to the Collection Management Librarian with an accompanying Donor Agreement Form.
  • The Library will determine the classification, housing and circulation policies for all gift items. Due to space constraints gift collections will not be kept intact but will be integrated into the library’s existing collections.
  • The Library retains the right to dispose of any unneeded materials as it sees fit. Only under special circumstances and if arranged in advance will items be returned to the donor at the donor’s expense.
  • IRS Publication No. 561 "Determining the Value of Donated Property". Since tax laws change frequently, library staff cannot appraise the value of gift materials nor can the library pay for or arranging for appraisals. Donors may have independent professional appraisals performed for especially valuable gifts. It is advisable that donors seek professional tax or estate counsel prior to making a gift.