Gift Policy

The library may at its discretion, consistent with its collection policy, accept gifts of materials that complement existing collections, or develop collections of specific interest to the university, provided no restrictions are attached to their use, location, or disposition.  Given the restrictions of limited space and available staff time, acceptance of gift materials will generally be held open to ONLY members of the WMU community.  An occasional hiatus on the acceptance of gifts may be declared to handle backlogs of accumulated gifts.  Regrettably, the library does not have the resources to physically come to the donor’s residence to collect donations.

The library encourages the donation of rare, valuable documents and classic or historic out-of-print books or materials for special collections and regional history collections.  The Associate Dean of Libraries for Collections will negotiate and approve any conditions attached to the acceptance of these gifts.

The library cannot legally appraise gifts for tax or inheritance purposes, but may assist donors in obtaining prices from auction catalogs, book dealer catalogs, or online book vendors.  Donors wishing to claim a tax deduction requiring an appraisal must have an independent appraisal conducted prior to the donation; after a gift is accepted an appraisal is not possible.

The Monographic Acquisitions and Gifts Librarian is responsible for the formal acceptance and processing of gifts.  Other librarians, in consultation with faculty, will recommend the suitability of items for university collections according to stated acquisitions policy. 

Donations can be delivered to the library by appointment with arrangements being made beforehand with the Monographic Acquisitions and Gifts Librarian

The following criteria apply to gifts that are not accepted:

  • Non-academic titles
  • Old textbooks
  • Duplicated titles, except in extraordinary circumstances
  • Brittle and otherwise damaged titles
  • Random issues or limited runs of journals/periodicals

Donations should be accompanied by a “Notice of Receipt” form.  Items left without this notice become the property of the library and will be dispensed with as the library determines. Anonymous and unsolicited donations are not acknowledged in writing.