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Collection Development Policies for the USA University Libraries: Gifts

GIfts to the Library

General Policy on Gifts

The USA University Libraries gratefully accept gifts of material and cash donations. This includes donations for books in memory or honor of special people, as well as titles that support the curriculum or research goals of the university. Once accepted, materials given to the library become the property of the university to determine retention, processing and disposition. Please review the "Gifts Policy and Procedure" below along with the Criteria for Selecting Material Gifts, which the librarians use to determine if a donated item should be added to the collection.

Contact Information

Please contact the following people regarding donations

Marx Library

Books and other non-serial gifts (music, videos, map, etc.)
Muriel Nero
Assistant University Librarian for Collections

Serial gifts (magazines, journals, newspapers,etc.)
Vicki Tate
Head of Documents/Serials

Financial. equipment, property and other donations
Lorene Flanders
Executive Director of the University Libraries

Biomedical Library

Gail Kouame
Director, Charles M. Baugh Biomedical Library

Mitchell College of Business Learning Resource Center

Amia Baker
Director of the MLRC

Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Deborah Gurt
Interim Director

Gifts Policy and Procedures

The purpose of the Gifts Policy and Procedure is to disseminate information to potential donors regarding material donations to the University of South Alabama’s (USA’s) University Libraries.

The University Libraries gratefully accept gifts for the development of its collection. Once accepted, materials given to the Libraries become the property of the University.

Gifts are accepted by the USA Libraries without special terms regarding their retention, processing, and disposition.  In rare cases, restrictions requested by donors will be considered, especially for unique materials.  It is important that donors understand that gifts of books and other materials to the Libraries have costs to the Library in terms of cataloging, processing, shelving, and shelf maintenance.

The Libraries usually adds to its collection only gift materials that support the research and teaching missions of the Library and the University. Remaining gift materials may be disposed of as the Library sees fit.  

Non-serial gifts (books, music, videos, DVDs, maps, etc.) accepted for potential inclusion in the Libraries’ collection are reviewed by Kathy Wheeler, Assistant University Librarian for Collections, who may seek the advice and expertise of subject specialists and bibliographers.  Please contact Ms.Wheeler at (251) 460-7938 or

Serial gifts (magazines, journals, and newspapers) are reviewed by the Head of Documents/Serials, Vicki Tate.  Please contact Ms. Tate at (251) 460-7024 or

Financial, equipment, and property donations are also accepted as gifts.  Please contact the Executive Director of University Libraries, Ms. Lorene Flanders at (251) 460-7021 or

Procedure for the Donation of Material Gifts

Donors of smaller sized gifts (one or more items, but less than a boxful) can bring their gifts to the USA Libraries, in person.  Non-serial gifts should be routed to the Assistant University Librarian for Collections, Ms. Wheeler.  Serial gifts should be routed to the Head of Documents/Serials, Ms. Tate.

Prospective donors of larger sized gifts (one or more boxes) are asked to make a preliminary inquiry with the Assistant University Librarian for Collections (for non-serial items) or the Head of Documents/Serials (for serial items). A list of the titles involved should be included so that the librarians can determine beforehand if the potential donations fit the University Libraries' collection criteria.

Because we have limited staff and the potential for liability issues, University Libraries personnel cannot pick up donations. Donors should make arrangements to have their donations delivered to the Libraries after receiving notice that the Libraries can accept the donation. The policies regarding picking up donations for Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library may differ. Please contact Deborah Gurt ( about the policy for McCall.

The appropriate librarian(s) will evaluate the item(s) in accordance with the established criteria for inclusion in and/or exclusion from the Collection.  Additionally, the value of the gift shall be weighed against space limitations and the cost of processing.

Any donor who leaves his or her name and address along with their donation will receive an acknowledgment of their gift from the Executive Director of University Libraries. If the donor wishes, a bookplate for the purpose of either memorial or honorary recognition will be added to the item.

All material gifts to USA University Libraries are considered non-cash charitable donations.  Prospective book donors often wish to know about the tax status of their gift and are frequently interested in having their gift appraised for tax deduction purposes.  Because of legal restrictions, the Libraries are  unable to provide appraisals or evaluations of donated gift items for income tax or IRS purposes.  Donors requiring an appraisal should arrange for an outside, certified professional appraisal prior to making their donation.  Once your gift enters our processing area, we cannot accommodate an appraiser on University property.

Since we have a limited size staff, the Libraries do not provide written inventories or lists of donated items to the donor.

Criteria for Selecting Material Gifts

Not Suitable as Material Gifts

  1. Materials more appropriate for a different type of library (e.g., public, school, or special) or age level.
  2. Materials in poor physical condition (e.g., stained, marked, mold, or mildew damaged, mutilated, disfigured, bumped, scored, bridled, and underlined pages).
  3. Miscellaneous issues (journals, magazines, or newspapers), or short runs of serials.
  4. Part of a series, with the exception that it would complete that series within the collection.
  5. Textbooks, especially outdated or complimentary copies (if they are stamped as such by the publisher).
  6. Outdated materials, especially in the disciplines where the most current, recent, and accurate information is crucial.
  7. Foreign language materials not relevant to foreign language courses offered at this university.
  8. Pamphlets, especially if brief (less than 50 pages) without any extraordinary value or added enhancement to the collection.
  9. Highly specialized or esoteric treatment of a subject.
  10. Editions of classic works already in the collection, unless rare or valuable.
  11. Mass market paperbacks.
  12. Vanity press books.
  13. Materials are in an outdated format (e.g., 33 1/3 and 78 sound recordings).
  14. Materials that duplicate those in the Library’s book, journal, media, or electronic (database) collections.

Suitable as Material Gifts

  1. Supports the present or anticipated curriculum, research needs, or interests of the university community.
  2. Has potential for receiving high use.
  3. Very current--within the last five years, especially within the sciences and technology fields.
  4. Of historical value, especially local or state historical material not owned by area libraries.
  5. Financial value of the printed edition.
  6. Possesses prestigious, rare, unique characteristics, such as autographed copies, handcrafted copies, etc.
  7. In good physical condition.
  8. Matches the criteria for inclusion into the collection within the existing Collection Development Policy.
  9. Suitable duplicates:  If the duplicate copy is in better condition; replaces an item; or if the item is in high demand.