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Donations/Gifts of Library Materials




This document (1) states the general policy of the Library and Learning Commons (LLC) for gifts and exchanges which explains the Library’s selection criteria for donated materials as possible additions to the Library collection; (2) articulates the constraints concerning the exchange of library materials; and (3) specifies who is responsible for responding to offers of gift and exchange materials for the LLC' collections.


Gifts are library materials that are obtained free of charge. Gifts may be in any format. They may be solicited or unsolicited.

Exchanges are library materials obtained through either donation from government and private bodies or through cooperative institutional agreements between the LLC and other libraries, universities or research institutes. Some examples of such exchanges are ZU serial publications and extra copies of donated publications to LLC.


Materials coming through gift and exchange will include all forms of print and non-print materials. Gifts will be encouraged with the understanding that the library reserves the right to accept, reject or dispose of any gift at its discretion. Gifts and exchanges will be evaluated for possible addition to the library collections according to the guidelines for selection outlined in this policy.


A. General Policy

It is the policy of the LLC to encourage donations of materials that meet the LLC' selection criteria as outlined in its written collection development policy.

Responding to donor inquiries may have a significant effect on public relations and future donations, so it is the LLC' policy to handle all such inquiries cordially and efficiently. Technical Services staff have primary responsibility for responding to donor inquiries and they should ensure that the donors understand that:

• The LLC accepts gift materials with the understanding that those which would enrich its collection will be retained, and others disposed of in an appropriate manner.

• The LLC reserves the right to refuse gifts that are inappropriate for the collections. Out-of-date material, duplicates of items for which additional copies are not needed, and material in poor physical condition will not be added to the collection.

• The LLC reserves the right to determine the appropriate locations of the materials within the collections and to inter-shelve gift materials with other materials on the same subject.

The LLC will accept gift materials on the following conditions:

• The gift item is in good physical condition and has not been exposed to mold, mildew or any other harmful materials.

• The Library is under no obligation to add the gift to the collection. Once the gift has been donated to the library, it becomes the property of the Library. Based on the needs of the University, no promise that it will be added to the library collection.

• The Library is under no obligation to return a gift to the donor if the gift is not added to the library collection.

• If the Library decides to add the gift to the collection, it is not under any specific timeline to have books catalogued and shelved.

• If the donated materials need to be shipped, the donor is fully responsible for the funding and transportation to LLC.

• The LLC cannot accept the following:

      1. Textbooks
      2. Magazines
      3. Materials that do not contribute to the overall mission of the University
      4. Non-commercially produced videotapes
      5. Unauthorized audio recordings.
      6. Photocopies
      7. Self-published books
      8. Films in VHS format which are commercially available in DVD
      9. Back issues of journals are generally not accepted unless they fill a gap in the collection and the material has not already been digitized.

B. Responsibility for Accepting Gifts

The ZU Library Director, the Assistant Director for Public Services, the Assistant Director for Technical Services are authorized to accept gifts on behalf of the LLC. To facilitate day to day operations, the Director and Associate Directors routinely delegate this authority to the Technical Services staff who may in turn delegate responsibility to subject liaisons for multi-subject donations.

When a proposed gift is substantial in quantity or value, controversial in nature or source, or involves making a commitment of some type on behalf of the LLC, all these staff must consult with the Director and Associate Directors before proceeding with the donation.

Library staff other than those mentioned above may not accept gifts on behalf of the LLC and should refer potential donors to appropriate staff as noted above. The person making the referral should inform the appropriate staff member of the potential donor's name and contact information and should also give the potential donor the appropriate staff member's name, their position title, and contact information.

C. Acknowledgment

It is important that all gifts be properly acknowledged. For most gifts proper acknowledgement will be a thank-you letter to the donor from the Director and/or the staff member accepting the gift. Staff should report gifts to the office of the Director.


The LLC strives to maintain as balanced an exchange program as is possible. Useable materials that retain informational value but are determined to be superfluous to

the LLC, as defined by its collection development policy, comprise the Exchange program candidates.

The LLC identifies a select number of libraries as a pool of possible exchange

recipients. This pool is based partly on the potential receiving library’s curriculum and perceived or expressed condition, with preference for historically under-funded libraries.

In all exchange cases, materials are officially withdrawn (by the Technical Services department), ownership marks removed, and/or over-stamped “Withdrawn” or “Discarded” prior to dispersal.

The LLC will conditionally accept exchanges from other libraries. Preferably, prior arrangements are made, or LLC will respond to a list of exchange candidates. In all cases, the prevailing collection development policy will be applied. All correspondence concerning publication exchanges will be made under the authority of the Director of the LLC.