Our technical services professor taught us that a gift and donation
policy ought to include the words to the effect that the library
reserves the right to do what it deems necessary with the
gifts/donations. He also said that the library staff must make the
patron aware of that fact. Some patrons expect to have a bookplate with
"Donated by" and their name on the bookplate placed in each book; some
want to have the books kept in a special location; some donate books
that are not right for the collection. It is imperative that the
patron understand that not all the books may be included in the
collection and that the patron know that the library will decide how
to dispose of the books that they do not keep (i.e., that they may
donate them to other collections, other organizations, and/or may just
dispose of them because of their condition). You may want to write a
letter acknowledging the gift and mentioning that the staff will
review the materials and decide the best place for the materials,
which may not be in the collection... He said that a lot of people do
not want to dispose of books and want the library to take over the
chore. However, he also mentioned that libraries have sometimes
benefitted greatly from donations--as long as they use the same
selection policies that they use for adding new materials to the
collection. He also taught us that the best time to weed a collection
is before you add to the collection. He said that the technical
services department (either the collections development specialist or
the acquisitions specialist) should be the ones to accept them; however,
many times the library director is the one who accepts the gifts and
turns them over to the tech. svcs. group.
Whitmore, Susan wrote:
> We are developing a gift and donation policy for the library and would like
> to receive a copy of your library's policy.
> Do you accept unsolicited gifts? Do you write acknowledgment letters?
> Which section in your library receives gifts?