Gifts and Donations to the University Library

Policy Statement

Gifts of materials to the University Library that support the university curriculum and enhance the library collection are welcomed, subject to professional review. Due to the high cost of materials handling, the library is unable to accept all offered gift materials. Materials will be evaluated for relevance to the library mission. For more detail on preferred gifts and/or undesirable items, see the section below on Review of Potential Gifts.

Inquiries from potential donors are directed to the Coordinator of Collection Development who, in consultation with appropriate parties, will determine whether the material should be added to the collection. Decisions will be made in accordance with the collection development policy.

Proposed gifts of archival-type material such as files, papers, manuscripts, or like materials requiring special handling or processing are to be directed to University Library Administration. Because of the high cost of processing and storage, these collections are subject to an in-depth review. Relevance to the library mission must be established before acceptance. Donors are requested to complete the Gifts and Donations Review form. An accompanying endowment to organize, preserve and maintain the collection may be a significant factor.

Inquiries concerning monetary contributions, endowment funding, bequests, and gifts of equipment are to be directed to University Library Administration. Funds can be donated by using a mail-in form (please check the box designating the Library as recipient).

Gifts will be accepted in conformity with the current Internal Revenue Service and University regulations.


The library reserves the right to refuse any potential gift or donation and is not obliged to return unsolicited materials.

The library reserves the right to make retention decisions, to dispose of unwanted items, and to set processing priorities after receiving the gifts.

Upon receipt, gifts become the property of the University. Gifts are presumed to be given without condition; any conditions placed upon an offered gift must be negotiated before delivery.

Delivery of gifts should be made only with prior arrangement.


When gifts are determined to be unsuitable for inclusion in the collection, they may be offered for sale or donated to another library, state facility, or charitable organization, or discarded.

Proceeds from the sale of books directly benefit the library.


Donors receive a receipt at the time of the donation which confirms the quantity and nature of the gift but is not an inventory and does not place a value on the gift for tax or other purposes.

Donor files will be maintained and gifts will be reported to the University Development Office. Donors are requested to provide a donor name and address on the receipt.


The University Library is unable to provide a valuation of gifts. By law, appraisals or estimates from the beneficiary of a donation cannot be used to substantiate the value for income-reporting purposes. Appraisals, if desired, must be conducted by a third party prior to the delivery of the gift. If combined gifts in one year of any one type (such as books) total $5000 or more, they are subject to special IRS requirements and must be accompanied by a qualified appraisal at the time of delivery.

Book appraisers may be identified in the Sonoma County Yellow Pages under Books ñ Used & Rare.

Review of potential gifts

Potential donors of archival materials are requested to fill out the Gift and Donation Review Form, which helps the librarians determine the best fit with our collections. The Library has a limited capacity for handling gift books, so potential donors of books should contact the Collection Development Coordinator prior to delivering the books.

Gift materials are reviewed for relevance based on criteria such as subject, age, condition, language, format and whether they duplicate current holdings. Recently published monographs of an academic nature and focused collections that support new or existing university programs may be of particular interest. Donors are encouraged to sort through large numbers of titles and offer us only university-press or core press and publisher titles.

Duplicates are added if the Library copy is missing, in mending, or on Reserve, or the title is one for which multiple copies are judged useful. When the library has an earlier edition, a later gift edition may replace it.

Vanity press books, most textbooks including outdated texts, books in languages not collected by the library, books in poor condition or in an inappropriate format, and most periodicals are not desirable.

Periodicals may be useful in extended runs of 10 years or more. Missing issues of existing periodical subscriptions will be accepted. In general, scattered issues, incomplete volumes, or short runs will not be accepted. Personal gift subscriptions when the donor wants to read the issue first before sending to the library will not be accepted.

Mass market paperbacks and popular fiction may be accepted for the free browsing shelves.


Operating procedures for the acceptance of gifts and donations are maintained by the Coordinator of Collection Development and the Library Administration Office.

For further information:

Library Administration
Brandon Dudley Tel: 707-664-2986