At the MSU Library, we appreciate you considering us a possible recipient of gift donations. Because of limitations to physical space, staff time, and processing costs, some items are not appropriate for donation. This gift policy outlines what items we accept and do not accept.
The majority of gift items will NOT be added to our collections unless they fill a niche we have identified in our general collections (such as a items supporting a new program) or that support our Special Collections subject areas as identified in our Collection Development Policy. The Collection Development Librarian makes the final determination on all gift materials.
Items which do not meet the criteria described in this policy will be offered to the public for free by being placed on our free book cart for anyone to take for their own collection, will be offered via our annual book sale, or recycled if in condition not appropriate for reuse.
Considerations for Donated Materials:
- Condition of materials: No materials will be accepted that are not in good, clean, useable condition. Nothing should be brought to the Library that has any hint of mold, mildew, pests (insects or mice), highlighted text or other scribbling, or that smell strongly of tobacco smoke.
- Appropriate formats: We accept books, DVDs, CDs, and music scores. We do NOT accept video cassettes, textbooks, journals, magazines, newspapers, slides, or photographs UNLESS appropriate for our Special Collections. DVDs and CDs need to be original productions, not reproduced from another medium.
- Age of materials: We do not accept any medical, legal, encyclopedia, or reference materials. Religious tracts, devotional books, or materials intended for proselytizing rather than providing information about a particular religion are also excluded as gifts.
- Book sales/giveaways/recycling: As noted earlier, items not retained in our collection will be sold through book sales, given away on our free bookshelf, donated to other libraries, or recycled. Any items donated cannot be returned to the donor if not selected to add to the collection. We do not retain any donated periodicals and those will be recycled rather than attempted for sale. We do not take any items intended to go straight to recycling unless donated by an MSU entity as there are costs to the University for disposal of any materials. Offices and departments at MSU may recycle materials on our Library loading dock recycling bins, though, if these items will otherwise end up in an MSU dumpster.
- Entire collections: Large or extensive gifts of materials will be evaluated and accepted or rejected by the Collection Development Librarian after consideration of the implications for Library resources, including the long and short-term implications and costs. These considerations include questions such as: How will the Library afford the space for such extensive materials? Who will organize and catalog the materials? How will the Library administer or provide access to the materials?
- Appraisals: We do not provide appraisals of materials. When dropping off your items, you can complete a form with your contact information and we will send you a letter acknowledging the gift. It is up to the donor to estimate the value of collections. You can then complete this form from the IRS for items between $500 and $5,000. For donations you want to claim at over $5,000 you need to get a formal appraisal and you should contact us before pursuing this route.
- Logistics: Small donations can be dropped off at the Borrow Desk in the Library during any of our open hours. For donations of more than 20 items, please contact us before dropping off these materials after considering the restrictions above. Because we do not have the resources to do so, we do not pick up gifts from donors. If you contact us, we can provide boxes and directions for dropping off gifts that meet the above criteria.