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Earlham Libraries Policies: Gifts/Donations

Earlham Libraries Gift/Donation Policy

The Earlham Libraries are near full capacity for print collections, with major fundraising needed to increase high-density shelving and additional square footage. Book donations are difficult for us to accommodate as a result. We can no longer accept large donations (more than 100 books), due to our lack of space. We also do not have the staffing needed to evaluate and process large donations. A gift is really never "free" because of the associated costs of processing and long-term storage. Therefore, and even if of significant commercial value, gift materials will not be accepted unless they meet the same criteria as those used for selecting resources to purchase.

Additional details related to gifts: 

  1. Unsolicited deliveries by the US Postal Service or other shipping companies do not require acknowledgement and become the property of the College.
  2. The Libraries cannot establish a value for a gift. That responsibility falls to the donor. If the gift is of extraordinary value the Libraries might share in the cost of an independent appraisal.
  3. The Libraries' routine process is to check the gift materials against our collections. Librarians and/or faculty review items to decide whether to add them to the collections. Those items we decide not to keep (i.e. duplicates and rejects) may be placed in a book sale that makes them available to students and faculty, recycled, or otherwised disposed of at the discretion of the Libraries.
  4. The Libraries can issue the donor a letter acknowledging the gift and stating what it includes, upon request. This is usually done in terms of the number of books, periodical issues, sound recordings, video recordings, linear feet of manuscript material, rolls of microfilm, etc. If a gift letter is requested and the donor wants back those items the Libraries choose not to keep, then the gift letter will not be written until the collection has been processed.
  5. Gift plates will be included with the donated materials when placed in the collection, at the request of the donor.
  6. We will not promise that gift materials will be isolated from the rest of the collections.
  7. Propsective donors interested in gifting the Friends Collection and College Archives should refer to their collection development policies

Mary Bogue

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Mary Bogue
Lilly Library


Earlham College • 801 National Road West • Richmond, Indiana 47374-4095