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Gift Donations to the Library : Policy

Gift Donations to the Library

The Importance of Gifts

The support of employees, alumni, and friends of the university is very important to the success of the Walker Library. The Library welcomes cash donations and gifts of materials that strengthen the Library collection. Gifts serve as important enhancements to the Library and create a special relationship between the Library and its donors.

Collection Priorities and Policy

Book donations should support the curriculum and research agenda of the university, as well as the mission of the Library and are expected to meet the same standards outlined in our Collection Development Policy. However, as our collection is currently very extensive, many cases of gift books have proven to be duplicates to our collection. With limited resources, including space, the library must be selective in the materials we choose to add to our collections. In addition, there is a cost associated with processing and cataloging gifts. Gifts have a monetary cost to the library in the sense that our faculty and staff spend valuable time and expertise in order to process, catalog, and maintain the books as part of our collection. The Library must balance the time spent on gifts with managing other aspects of our collection and other duties. Due to limited resources we are highly selective on the gifts that we accept and add to the collection. Our policy focuses on what types of gifted materials we will consider at Walker Library.

Walker Library has several sub-collections. For more information please see the following specific policies:

Suitable as Gifts
  • Monetary Donations
  • Print and other physical resources which support the current or anticipated curriculum, research needs, or interests of the University.
  • Has potential for receiving high use.
  • In excellent physical condition.
  • MTSU faculty or alumni publications not already in the collection.
Not Suitable as Material Gifts
  • Materials more appropriate for a different type of library (e.g., public, school or special) or age level.
  • Materials in poor physical condition (e.g. stained, marked, dusty, malodorous, highlighted, moldy, damaged, underlined or scored pages, brittle paper, infested, musty from long storage.
  • Print periodical issues (journals, magazines, or newspapers).
  • Mass-market paperbacks.
  • General, non-academic collections.

Acceptance of Gifts

Small gifts (under 30 books in size) may be accepted on behalf of the Library by the appropriate librarian or staff member. Gifts which are larger than 30 items must be reviewed by the Chair of Collection Development and Management along with the appropriate subject librarian before a decision to accept the gift, either partially or in whole, is made.

Gifts are accepted without special terms regarding their retention, processing, and disposition. The acceptance of a gift does not guarantee that it will be added to the collection. Gifts not retained by the Library may be given to academic departments, other libraries, thrift book companies, state agencies, sold at book sales, or recycled. In rare cases, restrictions requested by donors will be considered, especially for unique materials. Unsolicited, unordered materials sent with invoices are treated as gifts.

Processing, Cataloging, and Shelving Gifts

All gifts are acknowledged by Collection Development and Management. Collection Development and Management will sort and prepare gifts to be evaluated by the appropriate staff member or librarian. At that point it will be processed to be cataloged, shipped to another organization, or recycled. If it is retained, a brief record is added into the catalog and is moved to the appropriate cataloging queue. After it is cataloged and physically processed, it is sent to the Circulation Department for shelving. In general, gift books will be a lower priority than the other collection development and cataloging activities of the Collection Management Department.

Value of Gift Materials

The monetary worth of the gift is determined by the donor. In accordance with Internal Revenue Service policies and guidelines of the Association of College and Research Libraries Statement on Appraisal of Gifts as well as University policy, the Library cannot appraise or attach monetary value to any gift title or collection. An appraisal, if desired by the donor, should be conducted by an authorized appraiser prior to the presentation of this material to the Library.

Procedure for the Donation of Material Gifts:
  • Monetary gifts:
    In person: Kathleen Schmand, Dean, Walker Library Administrative Office, 615-898-2772,
  • Online:
  • Mail: Kathleen Schmand, James E. Walker Library, PO Box 13, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132 (make checks payable to MTSU Foundation-Walker Library)
Procedure for the Donation of Book Gifts:
  • Book donations should be brought to Collection Development and Management (Room 364) on the 3rd floor of the library. Donors may also leave books (under 30 items) at the Service Desk located in the first floor lobby
Gift Donation Form



For point of contact on donating material to the library or for questions about the gift policy:
Suzanne Mangrum
Acquisitions Librarian

Date accepted: 20200910 rev. 20230331 2ndrev. 20230630